The Valentine's day attracts me due to the groundbreaking ways of expressing & exhibiting 'love' particularly by the young lovers. The Valentine's day has truly become a global 'phenomena' over the years.
The Valentine's day is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other. In this sense, this day is marked by mutual exchange of gifts (most often, chocolates & greeting cards) and amorous glances between the lovers. However, personally, I don't really believe in any special day to express my romantic feelings to my loved one (my better-half). Nonetheless, this day attracts me due to the groundbreaking ways of expressing & exhibiting 'love' particularly by the young lovers. The Valentine's day has truly become a global 'phenomena' over the years.
Come February and every year a lot of gifts and greeting cards are exchanged between loved ones in the name of St. Valentine. But very few people know about this mysterious saint. The truth behind the Valentine legends is gloomy as there exists several fables to describe the 'story of the Valentine'. But, regardless of the contradictory beliefs, there is no surprise that Valentine continues to be one of the most popular & romantic figures today.
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas (source: Wikipedia). Come February and every year a lot of gifts and greeting cards are exchanged between loved ones in the name of St. Valentine. But very few people know about this mysterious saint. Traditionally, February has long been a month for the lovers. But, when exactly did this custom start? To find the answer to it, I did a bit of googling and eventually found that, today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred and could be associated with this ancient rite (source: history.com).
According to one legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. The Emperor Claudius II had an opinion that the single men were best suited, in compared to those with wives & families, for military personnel. Hence, he disallowed marriage for young men in a bid to recruit them in his armed-force. The priest Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers secretly. However, Valentine's activities were discovered by the Emperor who ordered that he be put to death. Another legend says that Valentine, while in prison, fell in love with the jailer's young daughter who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is supposed that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that still inspires the lovers while they prepare to pen their feelings on the valentine. Many believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to mark the anniversary of Valentine's death which probably occurred around 270 A.D. The truth behind the Valentine legends is gloomy as there exists few other fables as well to describe the 'story of the Valentine'. Few believe that it came from the festival of Lupercus, the god of fertility. But, regardless of the contradictory beliefs, there is no surprise that Valentine continues to be one of the most popular & romantic figures today. The interested readers can click here to watch the videos of the history associated with the Valentine's day.
The Japanese way of celebrating the Valentine's day
Japan celebrates the Valentine’s Day on two different occasions: first, on February 14th when the women present gifts to their boyfriends, husbands, or any male close to them and second, on March 14th, exactly one month later, when the men give back the same to the women. March 14 is actually known as the 'White day'.
A twist in the tale: the reverse chocolates
A survey shows that 90.8% of the Japanese women would like to receive gift from their boyfriends or husbands on the Valentine's day itself which gave rise to the idea of 'reverse chocolates'. A Leading Japanese confectioner Morinaga has devised a campaign that features reversed English text & design along with a blue ribbon twist that reads "This year, give in reverse".
Well, I firmly believe that the smart companies will come up with some innovative idea for the White day celebrations as well. After all, market plays a huge role in shaping our cultural activities and media has a potential to redefine our traditions! I have tried to post 'something interesting' on the Valentine's day and now, it's up to you all to judge if I am successful in this endeavor.