My Funny Valentine
Even though everyone is tired and broke after all the grand celebrations and merry-makings in the recent Christmas and New Year’s Day hooplas, there are actually tons of reasons to celebrate as we look forward on the days ahead. And since the “Santa” craze is done and out until December 2009, what everyone is busy right now is how to paint the town red. Got any idea why? Because come February, love will definitely fill the air as almost the entire world will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. And like any other reason to celebrate, our love day too, also has its roots and origin. Also listed and discussed in the following portions are Valentine’s Day facts. These Valentine’s Day facts are interesting, odd, funny or weird love facts all researched, with love….(!?!)
“Love experts” (as I would like to categorize them) would say that the history of Valentine’s Day started as part of both Roman and Christian traditions. The name came from Saint Valentine. Various beliefs and legends are surrounding its true origin. Some experts would say that Saint Valentines was a priest and was later jailed by then emperor, Emperor Claudius because the saint strongly opposed the emperor’s decree on marriages. Another version tells that the heart’s day originated from a roman martyr, Saint Valentine because he refused to give up Christianity on February 14, 269 A.D. He was likewise believed to have been imprisoned and was later killed for aiding other Christians in escaping Roman prisons and the possibility of harsh punishment. The “twist” in the story was that it was in jail that our lover boy fell in love with the daughter of the jailer (or to some extent, the warden, maybe). And before Saint Valentine died, he was believed to have scribbled a farewell note (the first love note, perhaps?) to his sweetheart that reads: …from your Valentine.” The other version of the origin of Valentine’s Day goes back to its celebration in honor of ancient Rome’s Queen of the Roman’s God and Goddesses, Juno. Our Roman friends regard her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The most accepted version is simply the Pope Gelatius’ marking of February 14 as a day to honor the patron saint of love and romance, St. Valentine. (End of love story)…
It’s a rather good feeling that everyone encounters when Valentine’s Day is celebrated. It brings out the Romeos and Juliets in us, and to some extent, the William Shakespeare’s in us. Here are some of those romantic popular quotes made over since Valentine’s Day was first celebrated: (Dear readers, please be advised not to fall in love over them.)
“Love is a grave mental disease.”
– Plato (the philosopher, great thinker)
“True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.”
– Erich Segal (American author, screenwriter, educator)
“Falling in love is so hard on the knees.”
– Aerosmith (the rock band)
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
– Peter Ustinov (British actor and writer)
“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.”
– Jules Renard (French author)
Well, our “lovers’ quotes” would not be complete without the ones made by Mr. and Ms. “Anonymous”:
“Love wouldn’t be blind if the Braille weren’t so damned much fun.”
“If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?”
“Without love, the rich and poor live in the same house.”
And before we give in to the cradle of love, let us continue our Valentine’s Day facts list. From its origin, to love quotes, now some randomly interesting facts:
And you thought that Valentine’s Day are for you lovers out there only? Check this one out! It is actually the children (yup guys, the children), are receive the most gifts on Valentine’s Day (well, that’s aside from their time of the year-Christmas). Surprisingly, they receive 39% of these gifts, which is three (3) percent shy away from wives and mothers (36%). Statistics would further show that fathers and husbands get their fare share – only 6% of the gifts. Our grannies and grand pops get 3%. Our pets get 1%.
And as we speak of the gifts to be distributed, we better start making our home-made heart-shaped boxes and chocolates for more than 36 million of these products will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
Gifts, gifts and more gifts….Our Valentine’s Day facts stat man reports that majority of men rely mostly on their friends and family members in finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for their partners. A fraction relies on co-workers, the store cashier and the internet.
Majority of these men (75%) also plans ahead for the upcoming event and most prefer giving these gifts first thing in the morning (women prefers it after a nice dinner). And who says that there is a global financial crisis going on? Men spend more – an approximate average of $130 on Valentine’s Day alone.
And what better way to discuss these Valentine’s Day facts than to sneak into our lovers around the globe and peek our way into how they celebrate their Valentine’s Day….
Back then, Don Michael Corleone’s countrymen has a common way of celebrating their Valentine’s Day. Italy celebrates this “love” day as a Spring festival that is usually held in open-air. Their celebrations would include the gathering of the young people around trees and luscious ornamental gardens where they listen to and perform romantic music and lovely poetry. In some parts of Italy, it is on Valentine’s Day that couples announce their engagements. Unfortunately, our modern-day Italian friends have long lost their passion as these celebrations are not done anymore. These celebrations steadily ceased and have not been celebrated for centuries. Maybe Cupid should pay them a visit.
Scotland’s Valentine’s Day is festive. The Valentine’s Day festival involves an equal number of single guys and gals. Each one of them is made to write their names (pen names are allowed) on a piece of paper. These papers are then folded and placed into a hat. Having two (2) sets of names on it, women will draw first blood by drawing a name from the hat that has the names of the guys and vice versa. It is very unlikely then that the gal who has your name is the same one that you picked. Nevertheless, the ladies then would try to display and pin the piece of paper over their hearts or their sleeves. The ladies would then be given gifts by their “valentine” and a dance would follow at the end of the festival. A Scottish custom is also practice of whomever that a guy or a gal first encounter out in the street will eventually be his or her Valentine.
Our Spanish friends on the other hand, enjoy simpler customs practiced every Valentine’s Day. Courting couples exchanges gifts during the day. Husbands are required to give their wives bouquets of roses.
From the west, let us go to our friends in the East…
Valentine’s Day in Japan is quite unique. So unique that they celebrate Valentine’s Day twice! They celebrate the lover’s day in two different dates, February 14 and March 14. (Aren’t they way too lovable?) It is the female who gives a gift to the male on the first date. Come second date (usually called the “White Day”), the male will return the gift that he received a few days back to the female that gave it to him. (‘kinda weird, is it?)
Korea has a different version of Japan’s Valentine’s Day fact. Well they too celebrate it in two different dates and much like Japan, its February 14 and March 14 on their calendars. The gifts involved here are usually candies. It is that custom that the females are the ones who gives the gift. March 14 for Korea is also known as “White Day”. It is that time of the day that young men confess their undying love to their sweethearts for the first time. But wait! Korea has also something for those who have no romantic partners in particular. April 14 is their date and it is called the “Black Day”. They all get together to eat Jajang noodles. A distinct kind of noodles is that black in nature.
Our Asian counterparts seem to over-celebrate once in a while for the celebrations of Valentine’s Day in Taiwan do also have two different dates! February 14 and July 7. In these dates, Taiwanese men buy and purchases expensive bouquets of roses and flowers for their dear ones. Taiwanese tradition states that the color and the number of roses are very significant for they contain distinct messages. A single rose would carry a message of “only love”. Eleven of those kinds would mean “to my favorite”. Ninety-nine of these roses would whisper “forever” to your sweetheart. A hundred and eight of them would loudly state “marry me.” (Attention ladies…it is strongly advised that you must know how to count before receiving these tons of roses…)
Whether we like it or not, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. And just like any celebration of tradition that we have, it is important that we take part in these for in doing so, the richness of a certain tradition or culture in general is preserved. It would be nice to see our grand children themselves doing the same old things that we’ve done when we were still their age.