The History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, Saint Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine; whatever you call February 14th, it is universally known as the most romantic day of the year. But where did the celebration come from?
It is widely believed that the celebration of love was originally an annual feast day to honour three Saint Valentines, all of whom were martyred on February 14th. The most famous of the three was Saint Valentine of Rome, who was imprisoned for performing forbidden weddings for soldiers, and ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.
It is believed that during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine fell in love with the daughter of his jailer, and wrote her a letter before his execution that was signed ‘Your Valentine’. This is believed to be how to the tradition of giving Valentine’s Day cards.
However, the day didn’t officially become associated with romantic love until the time of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century, when he mentioned the day in one of his poems in 1375. The popularity of the day evolved in the 18th century, when the tradition of expressing your love and affection for your partner with cards and flowers was born. Many of the symbols of Valentine’s Day are still used today, such as the figure of the winged Cupid, and of course, the heart shape.
Types of Love to Celebrate on Valentine’s Day
Though Valentine’s Day is still celebrated by loved up couples in several countries today, there is also a lot of skepticism surrounding the date, and many people disagree with how commercialised the celebration has become.
The day can be particularly difficult if you are single. In recent years, the day has been given the nickname of ‘Single Awareness Day’, and many people see it as an opportunity for couples to simply brag about being in a relationship, and for single people to be made to feel almost inadequate because they don’t have anything to celebrate.
However, there are many different types of love, not just romantic, that are worth celebrating. Many people mistakenly believe that love is a sort of hierarchy, with romantic love at the top, and other types below it. However, who is to say that the love between a couple is more important or special than the love between friends, or family? Of course, we all want to find ‘the one’ who we will spend our life with, and it is true that you will most likely spend the majority of your time with your significant other. Yet, romantic love is also the kind to end more often than the others, and it is the people who will still be in your life to love and support you once a romantic relationship has ended that are worth celebrating. Here are five different types of love that are worth celebrating this Valentine’s Day.
Your Best Friend
Your best friend is the person who more than likely knows you better than anybody else in the world. Many people believe that their best friend is actually their soulmate, rather than their romantic partner, while others believe that their best friend is even their Twin Flame, and that they are the same soul in two bodies.
Your best friend is there for you through thick and thin, has celebrated your victories, and stuck by you on your worst days. They are usually the first person you go to with news, or problems. And they are there for you when your romantic relationships end, offering a shoulder to cry on, and once you’ve had time to grieve, to pick you back up and help you find yourself again,
Why not celebrate your best friend by letting them know how much you love them, and how much they mean to you. Make them a present or a card, and write down all of the reasons you love them. Schedule some quality time together and celebrate your friendship by retelling old stories and reminding each other of the good times you’ve shared.
There are many different types of families, from the traditional ‘nuclear family’, to step-parents and siblings, foster families and adopted families. However, no matter what kind of family you grew up in, they are usually the first people you love and who love you. The kind of love that family members have for each other is almost unconditional, and in the best circumstances, lasts forever.
We can sometimes take our family for granted, knowing that they will be there for us whenever we need them. Show your family how much you love them this Valentine’s Day by showing your appreciation. Call your parents, run an errand for your grandparents, spend some quality bonding time with your siblings. If your family are far away, why not write them a letter, telling them that you’re thinking of them. Small tokens of appreciation for your family go a long way.
Speaking of unconditional love, your pet is a constant source of love and affection, no matter what. For many people, a pet is another family member, and plays an important part in their lives. They say that a dog is a man’s best friend for a reason; your pet can provide comfort and companionship when you need it the most.
Give your pet a special treat this Valentine’s Day, to celebrate your special bond. Why not buy them a new toy or some special food they love? Or spend some quality time with them, and shower them with affection. If you have a dog, why not take them on a long walk and play a game of fetch.
Your work colleagues
For those who work full-time, our colleagues are the people we spend the majority of our days with. Though it’s obviously not possible to get on with everybody, your workplace relationships are important. Our colleagues are the people who most understand our day-to-day lives, and all of the ups and downs that come with our jobs. Your work friends are there to support you when you’ve had a bad day, and to celebrate your successes. Remember, you’re all on the same team, and are aiming for the same goal.
Say thanks to your work friends by buying some office treats, or why not organise a team lunch or dinner? Spending time outside of the office and being able to unwind together does wonders to boost morale and strengthen bonds.
Most Importantly, Yourself
It is said that before you love anybody else, you must first love yourself. It is common in romantic relationships for individuals to get so wrapped up in their partner that they lose their individuality, which is why they find it so hard to get used to being alone after a breakup.
You are the most important person in your life, and you deserve your love and respect just as much - if not more - than anybody else. If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, why not take some time to celebrate yourself. Treat yourself to some you-time to do whatever it is you want; have a pamper session, watch your favourite film or read your favourite book, or cook your favourite meal. Whatever you do, cherish the time alone, and learn to love yourself completely and unconditionally.