Whether you find yourself single, dating, or happily married, it’s fun to partake in the festivities of St. Valentine’s and the newer Galentine’s Days. Everywhere you look, there are doughnuts adorned with pink glaze and sprinkles, heart-shaped bagels and pizzas, beautifully wrapped chocolate boxes tied with a red velvet ribbons, an abundance of roses in every flower shop, and a variety of stuffed plush animals and cards. Love is in the air, and our loved ones are captivated by the enchanting idea of exchanging gifts.
Did you know that 145 million Valentine’s cards are sold each year? Galentine’s Day was coined by Leslie in a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation and celebrates women’s friendship. The very first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was crafted by Richard Cadbury in 1868. Yet, amidst the Hallmark moments, it's easy to overlook the fact that there must be a story behind these traditions.
The Roman festival of Lupercalia, a celebration held from February 13-15, was dedicated to spring and fertility practice and paired women and men by lottery, which may have evolved into observing Valentine’s Day.
Little is known about St. Valentine, who was a Roman priest martyred during Emperor Claudius' reign. Legend has it that he was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. It is believed that while imprisoned, he healed his jailer’s daughter of blindness. Before he was executed, he left her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that continues to be in use today.
And what about the pudgy Cupid, the naked cherub launching arrows of love at unsuspecting lovers? Rumor has it that he was the Greek god of Love, Eros. Only during the Hellenistic period did he start being portrayed as the mischievous child widely featured on Valentine’s cards.
For those who know me, they are aware that I am the most romantic person on this planet. I adore being in love, savoring heart-shaped chocolates, and relishing pink bubbly. Romantic music and rewatching classic love stories like Roman Holiday, Casablanca, and The Notebook are my guilty pleasures. Every time, the endings tugs at my heart, I realize I’m a hopeless romantic. Love didn’t find me right away; it took 15 years, and I consider myself the luckiest gal out there. I believe in love. I also believe that love finds you. If, for some reason, you haven’t found love yet or have lost someone you loved, remember you still have friends.
Therefore, celebrate Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day because it is the only day of the year when you can indulge in chocolate, and watch dreamy movies, and no one can judge you.
Wishing all my readers a magical month!
La Dolce Vita!!