What is Valentine’s Day about ?
If love is an embrace, a kiss, caring and feeling – a fondness or affection, why then has the annual celebration of love – St. Valentine’s Day become a consumer driven machine worth an estimated $18.9 billion USD that leaves even the most reasonable of spendthrifts feeling a little sinful (estimate of figures by About News – that’s huge!)
In the 1850’s Esther A. Howland began mass producing Valentine’s cards in the US, from the 18th century custom of exchanging handmade cards to loved ones on St. Valentine’s Day and it has steadily gained momentum to the excessive holiday it is today that people love to hate and retailers unashamedly relish.
St. Valentine’s Day wasn’t always linked with love, it wasn’t until Chaucer’s Love Birds that the custom of exchanging cards began.
The history of Valentine’s Day:
The history of St. Valentine’s Day is uncertain and curious: also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentine’s Day and celebrated on February 14th each year, the day is named after a Christian martyr but with roots in the ancient Roman holiday Lupercalia – a pagan festival celebrating fertility.
Was this martyr a priest in Rome, a bishop in Temi or one who simply met his end in Africa?
Was he imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry? Did he fall in love with the daughter of his jailer and send her a letter signed ‘from your Valentine’ and was he martyred for refusing to renounce his religion?
Again, we simply don’t know, however we do know that in 1969, the Catholic Church removed feast days from it’s liturgical calendar whose beginnings were dubious and St. Valentine’s Day was one of them. We leave the reason for this to your imagination and if you want to read up on more Valentine’s Day facts head over to Infoplease.
Let’s reclaim Valentine’s Day!
Whether you’re a minimalist romantic or an earth lover with a big heart, I think we can agree it would be nice to reclaim this holiday for what it is and lose some of the absurdity of spending a lot of money on a lot of waste.
So what can you do to have a green Valentine? Here are my gift ideas from 2014, still as relevant as ever: Valentine’s Day Gifts That Don’t Cost The World
Green ideas to spread the love.
To add to this, here are some more green ideas in a sea of red:
- Cook a meal at home for your sweetheart – best from home organic, seasonal produce
- Take an organic cookery class
- Plant a tree for your lovebird
- If you must buy gifts – try organic wine, fair trade chocolate and clothing, vintage jewelry, plants over flower bouquets, or an organic bouquet – roses are definitely not green.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Are you into it, if not why not?