Why Valentine’s Day Matters
Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? My boyfriend actually thinks it’s just an excuse for having to take me out to dinner. He says because it is not a public holiday it is merely a trick, a commercial contrivance.
–Stephanie, Providence, RI
Whether you have a SO or choose to fly solo, Valentine’s Day is a universal plea to embrace the love in your life. To open your heart and celebrate your closest relationships.
As one of the largest commercial holidays, the tradition of Valentine's Day has been celebrated for centuries, although, your boyfriend is correct, it isn’t a public holiday anywhere.
However, it is a holiday globally without celebrating any religion. Except in Palestine where Valentine’s Day is banned.
- Saint Valentine became a martyr during the Roman Empire for marrying soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While in prison, after apparently healing his jailer’s daughter, Bishop Valentine sent her a letter shortly before his execution, signed “Your Valentine,” as a farewell.
In the 14th Century, the date of Saint Valentine’s execution became a day when couples would declare their love for each other by giving sweet treats, flowers, love letters and cards to their sweetheart.
- In Chaucer’s “Parliament of Foules”, he wrote: “For this was on St Valentine’s Day when every bird cometh to choose his mate.” Leading a tradition of poets penning verses about Valentine’s.
In fact, Stephanie, if your boyfriend is feeling strong-armed about taking you out to dinner, then it’s up to you to give him a bit of sweetness in return. How about a box of chocolate covered espresso beans?