The Origin and Meaning of Valentine's Day
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The Origin and Meaning of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is not a another Hallmark Holiday. Read on.


Valentine’s Day has always been ‘just another day’ for me. No plump babies flying around shooting arrows, no bouquet of roses---not even a single long stem rose and especially no purchase from Hallmark---honestly, I have the strangest feeling that Valentine’s Day is a scheme created by greeting card companies to boosts their sales, but that’s just me (hehe). By the tone of my statements, you should now realize that I’m single (yes, I am). And hopefully that’s the last time I’m going to write that word in this article.

Who is your Valentine?

The Legend

Before moving any further, let’s take a crash course on the origins of what has been aptly coined the Singles Awareness Day---Valentine’s Day. With what was rooted in an ancient pagan celebration called Lupercalia, characterized by young men obtaining sexual partners by drawing women’s names off a container and keeping the latter as companions for a year, has evolved into a ‘Christianized’ event thanks to Pope Gelasius I. Not so elated with the pagan festivity, the Pope modified the lottery by letting both men and women pick names of Saints. The participants are then expected to emulate their saints for the whole year.

St. Valentine, the figure behind the holiday. Now, who is this guy? You may even wonder why there is no feast day dedicated to him in the Roman Catholic calendar? I’ll tell you why. St. Valentine could be the priest who was martyred in Africa. Or he could be the beheaded Bishop from Terni, or the priest who was executed on because he defied Emperor Claudius.

The one from Africa offers little detail. Unfortunately, the only explanation that linked him to February 14 is the reference of his name in one of the ancient martyrologies, which was entered under said date. The second one, said to be the first bishop of Terni, was secretly eliminated in the stillness of the night.

Legend has it that he presided over an interfaith marriage between a pagan and a Christian. The last Valentine was said to conduct marriage ceremonies against the edict of the emperor. The latter banned marriage for the purpose of strengthening his army. It was thought that he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and before his execution, he left a message for her signed, “From Your Valentine.” Scholars believe that the last two Valentines are one and the same.

Now, where is the defining line that separates legend from factual history. And this is the reason, it is this uncertainty that made the Church drop the feast day off the Roman calendar.

Three Important Words

Valentine + Single = Happiness

Being single (there goes that word again) on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to wallow in self-pity, enveloped your whole body in black garments or curse the day for having been existed. Remember, it’s just a day. I’m not in a relationship and I don’t have a boyfriend but I’m not allowing the same to make me feel miserable. (I barely celebrate Valentine’s Day for pete’s sake). I don’t need to go in a ‘pity party’ or huddle up my friends to have a ‘holiday bashing session’ and most of all, I don’t need to buy myself flowers and have it delivered on my office table and act all surprised and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, if this is your way of ‘being single and coping’, then by all means buy yourself a bouquet of roses and don’t forget to give mommy dearest a bouquet of her own, ok?

I don’t do anything unusual during February 14, well expect for giving my mom and grandma a bunch of roses. However a majority of the single populace immerse themselves in activities that will help them get through the dreaded day that is Valentine’s.

One option is to pamper thyself. Buy that ludicrously priced pumps you’ve been drooling over or that posh bejeweled purse that your favorite actress flaunted in the red carpet. Another way to splurge is to get a massage or a spa---24K gold facial, anyone? How about a soothing hot stone massage? Go ahead, indulge. Do something special for yourself.

Singles parties, girl’s night outs and sleepovers. Spend the day with the people who appreciate you---your family and friends. Have a quiet dinner with your family or movie marathon with your friends.

Share the love by volunteering. Visit your local children’s shelter or soup kitchen and help out. You can even handout candies or chocolates to remain in sync with Valentine’s.

Embrace Your Alone Time---Embrace Your Freedom. Catch up on your reading. Take a long relaxing bath. Play your favorite tunes while sipping champagne. Enjoy. Reminisce. Reflect.

My Valentine

Single But Not Alone

I’ll face the 14th single but not alone and certainly not depressed. I don’t know if I’ll be spending the day with my family or my friends or by myself. All I know is that I don’t need a calendar to make me feel miserable because of my civil status. It doesn’t bother me when I see couples cuddling. I see them everyday, everywhere. What makes the 14th any different? It seems that people need a holiday to remind them, or dare I say force them, to say ‘I Love You’ to that special person. Society should not dictate how you’re supposed to feel. Remember that.

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Comments (1)

Dear meiji15, I voted you up for your candor and truth. The love you have in your life, being single, from your friends and family mean more than gifts. This Valentine's Day, you might try something I do - make a list of all your unattached, widowed or divorced friends - men and women -- there's a lot of single people in this world. Buy the most uplifting valentine cards you can find and send them all one. For special people, I enclose a valentine hanky or small gift. The joy of being remembered by you on a lonesome kind of alone day will lift you up as much as it does them. I've done this for years and have many valentines. They don't have to be lovers. It's caring. In the spirit, and a little early, here is one for you. »-(¯`v´¯)-» Blessings & Peace, Marie