Valentine’s Day

Every February 14th people exchange cards, flowers and presents all in the name of Saint Valentine. The origins of this custom probably stretch back to ancient Rome and the execution of three martyrs all called Valentine or Valentinus for acts of defiance against Rome – all in the name of love. Legend has it that one fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and signed his last note to her "from your Valentine". By the middle ages Valentine’s Day was supported by the Church as a way of ‘Christianising’ Lupercalia, a pagan fertility celebration that was seen as debauched. Writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare in their works popularised the day as a celebration of love and it became usual for friends and lovers to exchange gifts and tokens as signs of their love. Now, of course, it is a massive commercial event, second only to Christmas.

And so the celebration of Valentine’s Day goes on, in varied ways. Many will break the bank buying jewellery and flowers for their beloveds. Others will celebrate in a SAD (that’s Single Awareness Day) way, dining alone and binging on self-gifted chocolates. It’s not just the guys and gals in relationships who should be showered with gifts this February. Whether you’re single or not, Valentine’s Day is a time to show the love and you know the old saying… You can’t expect to be loved if you don’t love yourself first. This goes for spouses, free agents, partners, "sort of going outers" and everything in between- because you’re worth it!

Ray Henshaw