I can’t remember when Valentine’s Day became a thing in Australia. All I remember is that the Americans were big on it and it wasn’t an Aussie celebration. Yet somewhere along the way we have adopted February 14 as a day when lovers express their affection with gifts and warm acknowledgment of the importance of someone special in their life.
I don’t believe it’s a bad thing, life is short. Though it took me a while to accept being someone’s Valentine. I soon learned how lovely it was to share the day with someone special.
I have never been a person who requests the traditional bunch of red roses. Heavens, have you seen the prices for a dozen red roses? You could book an interstate trip in Australia with the same money.
But it was lovely to be wined and dined and reciprocate. We can all be guilty of neglecting each other and St Valentine’s Day is a perfect reminder to take time out for a few hours and share some love.
Named after its patron saint, St. Valentine, the history of its origins is long and mixed, and finding a definitive date of when it began is even more confusing. Some say February 14, began at the end of the 5th century. Others say the day of romance celebrations didn’t begin until the 11th century.
Its roots in an ancient Pagan festival, which has been said was a festival to celebrate the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I, born in Rome, forbid the celebration of Lupercalia which is sometimes attributed to replacing it with St. Valentine’s Day. Some historians simply believe it commemorates the death of St. Valentine on February 14.
The cherub Cupid symbol often depicted with a bow and arrow on Valentine’s Day cards can be traced back to 700 BC, to the Greek God of love named Eros who was an immortal man with intimidating powers to make people fall in love.
In countries such as India and Pakistan, religious activists say that Valentine’s Day is a day of lust and shame. In Welsh tradition, being born on Valentine’s Day would grant a child many lovers in the future, but the Welsh also believed calves born on this day are no use for breeding and hens hatching would have rotten eggs.
Richard Cadbury was no fool in the late 1900s when he launched the first Valentine’s Day chocolate box, nor Hallmark Cards with their first Valentine Cards released in 1913. Understandably, in the USA around $14.7 billion is spent on this day.
The recipients of most Valentine’s cards are teachers, mothers, and wives. It was of no surprise to read, gift-wise, jewellery was the best seller.
But what about the people who don’t have a Valentine? I am one of the millions and it’s not an issue. For some, maybe it is. So, my suggestion is to organise your own plans. Be your own Valentine.
Potentially, you could organise the evening with family and friends. It doesn’t need to be a late night out. Alternatively, have a quiet dinner at home cooking your favourite dish. I love to treat myself to fresh seafood such as crayfish, Tasmanian scallops, or oysters.
This year my neighbours are popping in for some takeaway Thai and a drink.
Not possible? Then plan a different treat, whether it be that massage or facial you keep postponing.
Or buy yourself a bunch of fresh flowers. I still love Christmas lilies and they’re normally inexpensive. At this time of the year, sunflowers are simply beautiful and they make you feel good. I definitely don’t lash out on red roses, but maybe a bottle of red wine. Nor chocolates, I’m still finishing off my Christmas chocolate gifts.
The list is endless; going to a live show (often you can purchase a last minute, single seat for less cost), the movies, or simply lighting a candle at home playing soft music, or watching a show you Love Actually. There are plenty of options to celebrate Valentine’s day alone. We don’t need to have a Valentine for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is not only about sharing your love with someone else but about self-love. It’s about accepting yourself fully and treating yourself with kindness and respect. It nurtures your growth and well-being.
Happy Valentine’s Day!