When we got married on 14th February, 40 years ago, Valentine’s Day was not heard of, and the wedding date was decided randomly as per convenience. But years later, as it turned out to be a day dedicated to love and togetherness, a feeling of ecstasy for being God’s chosen ones has been inevitable.
Today, watching the youngsters go euphoric spreading cheer and joys of love all around rubs on the ‘not so young’ as well. Flowers, heart-shaped red balloons, chocolates, cakes, gifts…. the whole atmosphere speaks of love, passion, excitement, and exaltation.
Valentine’s Day is dedicated to St. Valentine who is eulogized as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. 14th February being his martyrdom day, he is remembered for having secretly solemnized marriages for young soldiers, who had been barred from marriage by the king; thus, uniting the lovers together.
Valentine’s own handwritten note to his beloved before his death signed ‘From your Valentine’ has been eternalized as a romantic mode of address among the lovers.
Another folk legend associated with Valentine’s Day is the festival of Lupercalia, celebrated from 13th to 15th February, ushering in the outset of spring, signifying fertility for the earth, birds as well as human beings. This festival marked the beginning of the mating period for the birds, while the young women would choose their partners by picking the slip of their name out of a jar. No wonder the young romantic couples are called ‘lovebirds’.
Love is an all-encompassing emotion, why not take it out of the precincts of romance and turn it into a day of universal love. Let’s make it inclusive of friends and family. Instead of ‘dinner for two’ let it be a get-together for the extended family! Spread the love on this day in whatever way you can! Pamper the elders of your family, take your children out for a picnic, visit some orphanage or old-age home if you can!
Pat your pet a little more. What about having a party with red or pink as its theme. C’mon! Love is in the air, enjoy the ecstasy. Happy Valentine’s Day!