Valentine’s Day, celebrated by lovers worldwide on February 14, is a booming multimillion-dollar industry. According to statistics approximately 190M Valentine’s Day cards are sent anually (excluding the hundreds of millions that kids exchange at school). This is also the #1 holiday for florists, with more than 198M roses produced yearly for it. This extraordinary show of love on a single day in a year are mostly benefitting Hallmark, Blue Mountain, American Greetings, etc. According to the National Retail Survey, the average person spends an estimated $142.31 for Valentine’s Day on candy, flowers, apparel and more in 2015—up from $133.91 the previous year. Total spending approached $19 billion—the highest yet for the holiday.
Lovers all over the world go crazy on this day buying gifts, making plans to have a romantic dinner, watch a romantic movie, etc. A lot of young people I know wouldn’t want to meet Vday without a date.
On the other hand, if you’re single this day may bring nightmares. This will make you face the reality that you’re alone and available but not taken. You hear everyone around you talking about plans, dates, gifts, flowers, etc. This will make you feel like hiding under a rock for the rest of the day (or the week of V-day) at least just so you won’t hear it from your friends and avoid a pity party.
This could be one of the reasons why some V-day extremists who are mostly singles are so against Valentine’s day celebrations. But they’re not the only one. Some couples also feel that it’s so commercialized that they do not want to be a part of it because of the pressure from the media, the environment and from family and friends.
Sometimes I just make it a family affair because I want my daughters to feel that it’s not just for lovers and it’s not a big deal if you are not in a serious relationship during that time.
As for me, I just want to be here, watching this glorious view… chillaxing… with or without my Frenchie. Just being in Paris… letting the romantic setting engulf me.
Anyway, let’s talk about the history of this money raking business for the greeting cards and flower companies? Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country. (Source: Wiki)
The Catholic Church recognizes at least 3 different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the 3rd century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…— Charles d’Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2
Apparently the exact origin of the holiday is unknown, however, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men stripped naked, grabbed goat- or dog-skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility, said classics professor Noel Lenski of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The annual pagan celebration, called Lupercalia, was held every year on February 15 and remained wildly popular well into the fifth century A.D.—at least 150 years after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. On the eve of Lupercalia, February 14, a holiday in honor of Juno, queen of the gods and patroness of marriage, was held. As part of the celebration, a “love lottery” took place, in which the city’s bachelors drew a young maiden’s name from a jar and became paired with her for the duration of the festival. The new couples were then often sexual partners for the rest of the year. (Source: NatGeo)
The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in 1400, describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting and dancing. Amid these festivities, the attending ladies would hear and rule on disputes from lovers.No other record of the court exists, and none of those named in the charter were present at Mantes except Charles’s queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, who may well have imagined it all while waiting out a plague.(Source: Wiki)
She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.
The modern cliché Valentine’s Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784):
The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
In some Latin American countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, Saint Valentine’s Day is known as “el día de los enamorados” (day of lovers) or as “Día del Amor y la Amistad”. It is common to see people perform “acts of appreciation” for their friends. In Guatemala it is known as the “Día del Cariño” (Affection Day). In most of Latin America the Día del amor y la amistad and the Amigo secreto (“Secret friend”) are quite popular and are usually celebrated together on February 14 (one exception is Colombia, where it is celebrated on the third Saturday in September). The latter consists of randomly assigning to each participant a recipient who is to be given an anonymous gift (similar to the Christmas tradition of Secret Santa). In Brazil, however, the Dia dos Namorados (lit. “Lovers’ Day”, or “Boyfriends’/Girlfriends’ Day”) is celebrated on June 12, probably because that is the day before Saint Anthony’s day, known there as the marriage saint, when traditionally many single women perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend. Couples exchange gifts, chocolates, cards and flower bouquets. The February 14 Valentine’s Day is not celebrated at all because it usually falls too little before or too little after the Brazilian Carnival— that can fall anywhere from early February to early March and lasts almost a week. Because of the absence of Valentine’s Day and due to the celebrations of the Carnivals, Brazil is a popular tourist spot during February for Western singles who want to get away from the holiday. (Source: Wiki)
Grosses bises ♥ Etoile