Saturday, February 13, 2010

In Defense of Valentine's Day

I can't seem to get it to show entirely, but click the picture for the full image (and hopefully a Valentine's Day laugh!)

Most people know how I feel about consumerist holidays that, without proper knowledge, encourage only the good aspects and nothing about its true origins. I enjoy congregating with the ones I love and, I guess in a sense, that is "celebrating" for me. I don't claim to know everything about everything but I do like to research and, hopefully, understand what things really mean. After a conversation with my good friend Phlip yesterday, I got to thinking about Valentine's Day and whether/why it should be celebrated.

Apparently, Valentine's Day does have Christian roots in that it was named for "one or more" Christian martyrs with the name "Valentine" waybackwhen. However, as with certain other Christian holidays, Valentine's Day dates back to a Pagan holidayLupercalia, named for either "Lupa", shewolf of Rome who nursed Ramulus and Remus, or a Roman god of fertility. Lupercalia rituals included a feast of cakes, animal sacrifice, nakedness, and, well, things dealing with animal blood and women that supposedly symbolized or aided in fertility. Hoping to Christianize the Pagan holiday, Pope Gelacius I declared February 14th Valentine's Day, and, well...after other, sometimes violent, events over time, we have our holiday. [Fun fact: According to a slew of sources, Pope Gelacius I (evil and oppressive or not) was the third and last pope of disputable African origin.]

Check out this video - it's only about 4 minutes long.
History of Valentine's Day

As a closeted romantic, the idea of love is of year round consumption. I think that if you have a wonderful beau or lady-friend, you should treat them wonderfully the entire year instead of making Valentine's Day your one day to deliver grand gestures for things you have yet to do the other 364 days. It's interesting to me, how people decide to bank on love one day a year, or being religious one day a year, or deciding to make big changes in their life one day of a year, simply for the sake of keeping that day meaningful. In the words of my good friend Phlip: "I don't believe in making up for fuckups, I believe in not fucking up." [sidenote: that is now two links to his him some love!:)]

Does that mean I hate flowers and romantic evenings on Valentine's Day?

Heckie nawww! I love getting gifts! As a matter of fact, my favorite flower is the midnight lily (it's a type of trumpet lily), I love white chocolate on days I'm less than concerned about my calorie count, and jewelry isn't really my thing (hey, I'm a little more a complicated lady than I put on..)! Okay, but seriously, as with any gift, I appreciate gifts from the heart much more than gifts for the sake of giving.

Okay, for real though. Let me stop kidding around; I hope all the love birds every where enjoy their Valentine's Day weekend. Make sure you're making it meaningful and not about the holiday itself; because, well, it really doesn't mean what you think it does. Be safe and wrap it up, because those Pagans were serious about those fertility rituals...

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