So what is Valentine’s Day? What does it mean? Why do we celebrate it? And what is the Right way to do so?
There are many different stories and myths about how this day was created that it is very hard to pinpoint which one is the ‘real one’, but one thing is for sure: the origins of St Valentine’s day are rather complex, have some morbid associations, which have helped give it more character and make it as special as it is today.
One of the versions states that a Pagan festival, called Lupercalia, celebrated mid-February in ancient Roman times, is what started the tales. These festivities, however, involved the sacrifice of an animal, followed by a slapping of the women with the animal skin shreds and blood to grant them fertility.
In the 3rd Century, an emperor striving for success, Claudius II, banned marriages altogether since his soldiers were becoming too love sick for their wives and were losing concentration during the long battles for power their leader was ordering them to fight in. Father Valentine, one of the local priests, was a true believer of love and instead of following his ruler’s demands; he started marrying young couples in secret. He was soon found out about and locked in prison sentenced to death. Allegedly, all the couples he married began sending him letters, flowers and other gifts as a token of appreciation. It was believed that, Father Valentine fell in love with his guard’s daughter, and on the day he was executed (February the 14th), he sent this girl a love note and signed it: “From Your Valentine”. A pope declared this day, St Valentine’s Day in the 5th century. A tradition was born for the ‘Love’ month which was further enhanced by stories of Cupid, the Roman God of love and alleged match-maker; and by an association with the start of the bird’s mating season. It wasn't until the 17th century, however, when people in the UK began giving each other love letters and cards on that day, which soon spread all over the world.
The festivities on this day aren’t as preferred or as important as Christmas, Easter or Mother’s day, but according to sources, people are expected to spend around £1.3 billion for all types of gifts. Why is that?
For most men it almost seems to have become an obligation, as even if women say they don't want a present or to celebrate, we all know that is not necessarily true. Even women who state this day has become way too commercialized and that couples should be celebrating their love everyday not just on this specific one; everyone secretly wants something, even if it is little and symbolic.
SO, in an attempt to get you thinking a little bit outside of the box, and stray away from the typical chocolates, flowers and cards, I have put together 6 different and more meaningful ideas for St. Valentine’s Day.
Love - Hunt: Create a treasure hunt around the house, with a note giving a reason why you love your partner, attached to a favourite goody of theirs – a little chocolate, a packet of crisps, nuts, beer or any other silly guilty pleasure of theirs you can think of.
Love - Coupons: Design your own love coupons with special surprises and treats for them. Examples would be, a ‘time-out’ coupon, whereby if you are in the heat of an argument they can pull out the card and put it on pause for a while; or a ‘you’re right’ one where you are admitting they are right, even if you don’t think so during a little fight; a ‘massage’, ‘going out with the boys/girls night’ and maybe a ‘clean the house’ one.
Love – Pact: Make a special pact about something. Either to do special date nights on any other selected date of each month; or that if you are in the midst of a silly argument one of you will back off.
Love – Walk: Take your loved ones a romantic moonlight walk at 12 o’clock on the 13th of February to the most romantic spot of your (or another) city you can think of.
Love – Box: Write love messages to each other, and all the reasons why you appreciate one another as much as you and why you want to be together. Place them in box with a lock and hide it away somewhere. That way you can go back and re-read them together.
Love – Set: As much as I am trying to stray away from the more commercial ideas for a gift, I also want to give you yet another a little bit different idea too. Think outside the box and about creating memories and getting something that will last a long time. A bed linen set in this case is the perfect idea, because you also get to enjoy it together for a very long time. Our Gift to you on this special day (and the week leading up to it) is a 20% off 10 of our best bedding set designs, on top of a 10% discount if you are a first – time buyer, and of course a free standard UK delivery!
I am a little bit of a hopeless romantic, but in my opinion Valentine’s Day is such a special occasion not just because somebody said so and because the whole world is celebrating we should be too. It is more about a day when people remind themselves what love is all about and unlock those romantic senses within themselves, which could be forgotten or put aside because of our busy, dynamic lives or an everyday routine we might be following. Yes, love should be celebrated at any time possible, but at least we have this day to remind ourselves about that, just as Christmas stresses the importance of family. So the ‘Right’ way to celebrate this day is simply to make the person next to you aware, that you are still as deeply and as insanely in love with them as you were at the start of your journey together, and how important they are to you!
Aleks RD UK x