Showing the love this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that people either love or loathe.

With the holiday coming up this weekend, flashes of pink and red are painted across the City, florists are likely going to be run off their feet, card shops will be packed with last minute shoppers, candy stores will be running on empty as the last boxes of chocolates are scooped up and reservations at restaurants for the big day will be booking up as well.

Yes, Valentine’s Day is a bit mushy and definitely not for the faint of heart – lovers will most likely have an extra bounce in their step this weekend, an extra sparkle in their eye and a smile on their face as Cupid strikes yet again.

Even the youngsters start getting involved in the celebration at quite an early age with the excitement of giving and receiving their own Valentines from classmates and friends and having small parties in their classrooms which usually include sweet treats as well.

This is where the seeds of love begin.

It’s a fact that Valentine’s Day has become much more commercial over the years – it is estimated that over one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent out for the holiday annually. This makes it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year with Christmas taking the top spot.

Over 189 million roses are estimated to be purchased and thousands of chocolates will be consumed on this day as well. With all this commercial hype, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the hoopla, but we don’t think that should let lovers forget the real meaning.

This celebratory day is all in the name of St. Valentine. There are actually a few versions who St. Valentine was.

He has been described as a priest in Rome, a bishop of Interamna and a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

Some believe Feb. 14th is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary St. Valentine’s death, which is thought to have happened around 270 A.D.

Others believe the Christian church may have celebrated St. Valentine’s feast in hopes of ‘Christianizing’ celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival.

The month of February in ancient Rome was the beginning of spring and was considered a time of purification. While not many people realize where Valentine’s Day originated, it is still celebrated, just in a different manner.

It is also interesting to note in the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve’.

Although Valentine’s Day is pegged as the day of love, we don’t think lovers should only show their significant other how they feel one day a year – it should be every day.

Often, the single folks dread this ‘love-filled’ day. It can be a reminder of their ‘singleness’ – something they’d rather not think about at all. Ladies can have their own celebrations – the so-called Galentine’s Day parties where women just have fun with their friends and put aside concerns over their singleness.

Singles can also celebrate Singes Awareness Day instead which also falls on Feb. 14th.

It can also be a day to get together with those you love as well whether it be a parent, grandparent, child or friend – it is definitely not limited to a significant other.

Don’t let the happiness of Valentine’s Day get you down. It doesn’t have to be just about falling in love. And regardless of your relationship status, one bonus to Valentine’s Day is that on Feb. 15th candy will be half priced!

This year, spend some time pondering new ways to find that special someone. That way, next Valentine’s Day you may very well have some company.

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