February 14th is Valentine’s day. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or on another planet, I’m assuming that you already knew that. However, do you know the history behind Valentine’s day?
It’s not something that many people think about really, but it’s actually quite fascinating. Valentine’s day originated as a Western Christian Feast Day that would honour one or two early saints who were named Valentinus.
According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day is recognised as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.
Here in Wales, we also have our very own welsh alternative to Valentine’s day. It’s called Dydd Santes Dwynwen and is celebrated on the 25th of January every year. It celebrates Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of lovers.
This is the thing that I find fascinating about Valentine’s day. Each country has its own special version and the ways in which Valentine’s day is celebrated over the world varies.
My very first memory of anything related to Valentine’s day was when I was in primary school. Our headteacher put a temporary post box in the school hallway that pupils could use to put anonymous Valentine’s day cards or letters in.
Teachers and pupils would then distribute the cards and letters on Valentine’s day. I only ever remember getting a card one year, but it certainly lifted my spirits and made me feel special. I still don’t know who that card was from. It could have been another pupil or perhaps even our very own parents taking pity on us for desperately wanting to receive a Valentine’s day card from someone, who knows! What I do know though is that Valentine’s day cards and gifts have come a long way since I was in primary school!
Gone are the handmade cards covered in glitter and lipstick kisses! A lot of cards have actually moved online now. You don’t even need to go out to buy a card these days, you can simply look online, choose a card, enter your message online and a company will do the rest for you and post it out to your recipient!
Personally, for me, when it comes to a card for my husband, I have to be honest and say that I would much rather go to a shop and handpick a card. I really enjoy reading the poems, quotes and messages inside the cards, and I like to think that I’ll pick one that represents us as a couple.
When it comes to Valentine’s day gifts, like most people I do opt for chocolates and the usual commercial Valentine’s day products such as teddies holding hearts etc., but I also find practical presents are great too. For my husband that usually means some new clothes, socks or underwear such as these Hugo Boss underwear from Function 18, which will look great under his new golf gear I got him for Christmas.
If we have time, in between work, the school run and the kids after school activities, I might even push the boat out and cook a special Valentine’s day meal for my husband and me.
I’m not quite sure what the exact plan is this year, but I know that as long as we’re together on Valentine’s day, that’s all that matters!