Valentine's Day -- irresistibly LOVE-ly!
Reports have it that this year, US consumers will spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s day celebrations. The highest recorded expenditure related to Valentine’s Day was $19.7 billion which was spent in 2016. Some people around the world prepare weeks before Valentine’s Day to surprise their loved one on the big day and some working class take the day off! So what makes Valentine’s Day so universally celebrated? How exactly did it start?
As we all know, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th of every year and, regardless of where you are or who you are, the day is all about the four-letter word, LOVE. The day is an opportunity to show and express love not only between romantic partners but also among friends, office colleagues, etc.
Through the years, there have been numerous stories about how Valentine’s Day started and while we are all very confident about saying that Feb. 14th is a day for love, we sometimes begin to wonder how Saint Valentine played a role in one of the biggest, most celebrated days of the year. There are multiple legends of Saint Valentine, such as the Catholic belief that he was a Roman priest beheaded in the third century, or that he was a bishop who healed the sick, or that he was sentenced to death because he tried to convert an Emperor to Christianity, or that he was secretly performing weddings defying a ban on marriage. St. Valentine also happens to be the third of three earliest “Valentini”.
Valentine’s Day has also been attributed to early associations with love and fertility inherited from the pagan festival of Lupercalia which held a matchmaking lottery that would pair men and women up for the duration of the festival after which Pope Gelasius I established the feast of St. Valentine to Christianize the festival.
The bottomline is, truth or myth, fact or legend, Valentine’s Day has become one of the most awaited events of the year where people across the world get united for a common theme and regardless of language differences, finally understand each other without need for more words. Such is LOVE. Like music, love is universal. It is encompassing. So folks, Valentine’s Day or not, let’s focus on that one variable that’s constant every Valentine’s Day --- LOVE!