Happy change the calendar day to all! It is February now, and while there are sadly no official holidays this month from work for me, there are a few days recognized as holidays on my iCal US Holiday Calendar: Groundhog Day, Presidents’ Day, and Valentine’s Day (love it or not!).
Celebrating Valentine’s Day has not been a big deal since a decorated white paper sack was taped to the back of my desk chair. Even then, I enjoyed the tasty treats more than the attention the cards symbolized. Romantic love has not been a part of my Februarys, and on occasion I have been found in the this-day-is-strictly-a-commercial-and-consumer-driven-holiday camp. However, the older I get the more I realize I am truly blessed by all kinds of love in my life. This year, I plan to embrace and celebrate that blessing. Ironically, I will defend yet another anti-Vday argument in my attempt to love love. Love is not just to be celebrated one day each year. I cannot wait until the 14th to begin my Love Posts.
Let’s start by learning about Valentine’s Day.
When in Rome…
The beginning of this short video from History.com may have you questioning the holiday altogether, but it ultimately tells us how a celebration associated with Romulus & Remus and battered women became a chocolate & rose fest with a $14 billion price tag. My favorite lesson learned here: love letters are a legitimate tradition associated with a prisoner named Valentine.
For the birds…
There are other explanations. Some trace the relationship of Valentine with romance back to medieval culture. Mid-February apparently began mating season for the birds. This belief or observation was famously recorded by Chaucer in his poem, Parliament of Foules, or The Parliament of Fowls in modern English. This brings new meaning to the term “love birds.”
It’s a Mystery…
After so many years and so little information, the origin of Valentine’s Day and the significance of February 14th remains a mystery. So, I borrow a line well-delivered by Geoffrey Rush in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.” And that unknown is what gives each of us the freedom to make it what we want – be it just another day or 24 hours of grand gestures and great love.
How will you celebrate this mysterious holiday?