Every year, the fourteenth day of the month of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, Chocolate and other lovely gifts. In many countries, restaurants and eateries are seen to be filled with couples who are eager to celebrate their relationship and the joy of their togetherness through delicious cuisines. There hardly seems to be a young man or woman who is not keen to make the most the day.
The reason behind all of this is a kindly cleric named valentines who died more than a thousand years ago.
History of Valentine’s Day:
The history of Valentine’s Day is obscure and further clouded by various fanciful legends. The holiday’s roots are in the ancient roman festival of Leupericalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day cica 496, declaring February 14 to be st. Valentine’s day.
Which st Valentine this early pope intended to honor remains a mystery; according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, these were at least three early Christian saints by that name. one was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni and of a third St, Valentine almost nothing is known except that he met his end in Africa. Rather astonishingly, all three Valentines were said to have been martyred on Feb 14.
Most scholars believe that the St Valentine of the holiday was a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Cladus II around 270. At this stage, the factual ends and the mythic begins. According to one legend, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies but was eventually apprehended by the Romans and put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine; imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailor. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed “from your valentine’’. Probably the most plausible story surrounding the st. Valentine is one not focused on eros (Passionate love) but on agape (Christian Love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion.
In 1969, the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calando, removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St Valentine was one of the casualties.
Chaucer’s Love birds
It was not until the 14th century that this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According to UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the cult of Saint Valentine, it was Saucer who first linked st Valentine’s day with romance. In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day. In “The parliament of Fowls’’ the royal engagement, the meeting season of birds and st Valentine day are linked: for this was on St, Valentine’s day. When every foul cometh there to choose his mate.
Traditions of Valentines Cards
Over the centuries, the holiday evolved and by the 18th Century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine’s Day had become common in England. Handmade Valentine cards made of lace, ribbons and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American Colonies. The tradition of Valentine’s cards did not become widespread in the United States, however until the 1850s when Esther A. Howland a Mount Holyoke graduate and native of Worcester, Mass began mass-producing them. Today, of course, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. According to the greeting card association, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.
Some memorable love stories:
- Shah Jahan and Mumtaz: Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in 1612, a teenage girl, Arjuman Banu, married15 years old shah jahan, ruler of the Mughal Empire, renamed Mumtaz mahal, she bore Shah Jahan 14 children and became his favorite wife. After Mumtaz diedcin 1629, the grieving emperor resolved to create a fitting monument. It took 20000 workers and 1000elephents nearly 20 years to complete this monument-the Taj-Mahal. Built of white marble, the Taj sits on a sandstone platform. A 137-foot high dome tops the maseleum. The interior is lavishly decorated inlapia lazuli, turquoise, agate, jasper, and colored marble. The exterior is paved with semiprecious stones that sparkle in the sun. the surrounding garden contains four water channels representing the four rivers of Islamic paradise.
Shah Jahan was never able to complete a black marble mausoleum he planned for himself. Deposed by his son, Shah Jahan was imprisoned in the red fort of Agra and spent lonely hours staring across the Jamuna River at the monument to his beloved queen. He was eventually buried beside her in the Taj Mahal.
- Queen Victoria and Prince Albert:
English royalty who mourned her husband’s death for 40 years Victoria was a lively, cheerful girl, fond of drawing and painting. She ascended the through of England in 1837 after the death of her uncle, King William iv. In 184, she married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg- Gotha. While at first Prince Albert was unpopular in some circles because he was German, he came to be admired for his honesty, diligence and his devotion to his family. The couple had nine children. Victoria loves her husband deeply. She relied on his advice in matters of state, especially in diplomacy.
When Albert died in 1861, Victoria was divested. She did not appear in public for three years. Her extended seclusion generated considerable public criticism. Several attempts were made on Victoria’s life. However, under the influence of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Victoria resumed public life, opening Parliament in 1866. But Victoria never stopped mourning her beloved prince, wearing black until her death in 1901. During the reign, the longest in English history, Britain became a world power on which “the sun never set’’.
- Romeo and Juliet:
Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers, Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers are probably the most famous of all fictional romantic couples. The balcony scene where they confess their love provides some of the best best-known lines in English Literature, such as “what in a name’’? that which we call a rose/by any other name would smell as sweet.’’
The story of young lovers seeking happiness despite opposition from their families was well known to Elizabethan audiences. It has appeared in various forms, including as a long, narrative poem by Arthur brook. But Shakespeare’s beautifully crafted play with its brilliant use of words and compelling characters gave the old story a vibrancy that soon eclipsed all other versions.
Even today more than 400 years after it was first presented, Romeo and Juliet symbolize true burning love.
New Trend of celebrating Valentine’s Day:
Nowadays people of the new generation celebrate Valentine’s Day in different styles. Their valentines starts on 7th February and end on 14th February.
7th February is known as Rose Day,
8th February is known as Propose Day,
9th February is known as Chocolate Day
10th February is known as Teddy Day
11th February is known as Teddy Day,
12th February is known as Hug Day,
13th February is known as Kiss Day
14th February is known as Valentine Day
Lovers Gift card, roses, chocolates, flowers to their loving person of those days.