I’ve heard of Valentine’s Day but never so utterly overwhelming than when here. It happens every year on 14th February. There is a whole culture and tradition surrounding this special day for sweethearts, married couples, and all those in love or with someone special. I see red balloons in shops, and offices, hair salons etc. Some people expect to receive cards and some expect to buy cards for their special someone. Some plan elaborate or simple meals to celebrate the Day. I still haven’t figured out what kind of celebration this is – religious, secular, spiritual?
It’s also a celebration for sales I’m sure. Those making and selling Valentine Day cards, balloons, knick knack, toys, mugs, cakes etc. I wonder how much money stores, restaurants, bakeries etc make from this celebration.
I went to buy a card in a very popular card shop along the Strand in London yesterday afternoon and my, oh my, I was spoilt for choice! There were so many Valentine’s Day cards on display under ‘his’ and ‘her’ categories. It took me a long time to find the right one. Not only was I spoilt for choice but some of the messages were just so corny. I wished there were Valentine’s Day cards without messages so I can pen my own. On the other hand I could have opted to make one myself – hmmm…food for thought. Anyway, after 30 mins I finally found the card I considered quite appropriate, paid for it and then wondered around the shop. I took some photos of some of their decorations – quite creative and there was excitement in the air!
I decided to find out more about this fascinating celebration so I surfed the web. There isn’t a single story about how, why, where and when Valentine’s Day began. I found this website which has distilled the information on this supposedly most romantic day of the year – http://blog.cleveland.com I am sure there are other websites on the net which you can check out for the history of this celebration of romance.
I read a couple of blog posts written by a few people who do not like Valentine’s Day for their own reasons. Fair enough. But I am convinced that it is a good thing. I’d like to view the celebration as a time of reflection about people we care about. It is a time to remind ourselves that the people we so often hurt most are the ones who are the closest so I find that Valentine’s Day is a good time to tell the special someone in our lives what value and richness they bring to our lives. One way or another, I think it is a celebration of romance underpinned by gratefulness, appreciation, commitment, faithfulness and love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!