The story behind.
Though there are many stories and perceptions are prevailed in history about how this centuries old tradition was begun, yet the most popular and most believed saga is about a Roman Saint St. Valentine.
St. Valentine was a martyred Roman Saint who had initiated the noble drive of getting those Christian soldiers married who were forbidden to do so due to some certain religious and social reasons. For doing so, he was persecuted and incarcerated by the Roman Empire. It is believed that, during his imprisonment, he had healed the daughter of his jailer and subsequently he fell in love with her. Before his execution in February mid around 270 AD, he wrote her a letter stating “from your valentine” as an adieu. So, many people believe that Valentine’s Day is being celebrated on 14th day of February every year to commemorate the memory of Valentine’s death or burial. Because of his devotion to love and affection in human relationship, this day of 14th February has been marked the Day of Lovers.
Valentine’s Day – Evolution of the tradition.
Every year, the day of February 14th is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day or just Valentine’s Day across almost all the countries in the world as a festival of romance or love. Though the Valentine ’s Day greetings was popular right from middle ages, its observance and celebrations begun only after 1400.
In India, Valentine’s Day celebration started in around the year 1992 when Thomas Hardy’s novel Far from the Madding Crowd was introduced in schools by the CBSE. This novel has a significant chapter focusing on Valentine’s Day greeting card. Subsequently in later years, TV serials, radio programs, romantic poem competition etc. helped made this festival to become popular in India like other countries. The Economic Liberalization in 90s added a significant commercial touch to this festival. Valentine’s Day greeting card industry as well as flowers and gifts industry made their way to materialize the occurrence of this romantic festival as business. Due to its significant commercial value, this festival and its celebration has been much hyped and popularized jointly by the media and many other commercial entities.
Valentine’s Day– A blissful business day.
People, especially who are in courtship or lovers await for this special day of Valentine every year eagerly to mark their passionate feelings to their beloved followed by the day long enjoyment and celebrations including – exchange of flower, gifts, greeting card and feast.
It has been observed that for past couple of years people enjoy and celebrate Valentine’s Day lavishly. They do not hesitate to shell out heft amount to pay for things that suit best to pamper their beloved. On valentine’s day people spend significantly for buying gifts that include valentine cards, flowers, chocolates, sweets, apparel, jewellery, fancy undergarments, electronic devises and food and beverage and any more.
Valentine’s Day – Customs, Culture and celebrations.
February 14th is the day of Valentine and it’s the day to spread love and exchange affectionate gifts to one another especially between people in love. Though these people are romantic all year long, but especially on 14th February they express and demonstrate their affection so passionately. Valentine’s Day is considered a wonderful day to express one’s love and special feelings to his or her someone special and thus gives an excuse to ask him or her “to be his or her Valentine”. Any gift that expresses your love and care for your beloved is accepted very well.
The most common custom associated with Valentine’s Day is the mutual exchange of love notes called Valentine Greetings, which is usually followed by uttering of words “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Flower bouquets are exchanged on 14th February between the people in love. Red roses are the symbol of love and romance and thus they are the most popular flower on Valentine’s Day. Usually, women receive a nice bouquet of red roses with her favorite chocolate or candy from their beloved men followed by going out for movie and dinner together. In return, women generally prefer to give stuffs like – dark chocolates, Valentine’s Day card, some electronic gadget, clothes & accessories etc.
To make the special day of love even more special, many boys prefer to propose their sweetheart to marry them. To woo her, they explore many gifts and ideas to pamper her like proposing in some unique way with some personalized gifts.
The Indian context.
India is a country with multiple diversified cultures and has rich ancient traditions especially the Hindu traditions. Hindu culture has a background of contradictions and clashes with many of the western culture and traditions. Valentine’s Day is one of those cultures that contradict with India’s conservative religious background. However, for the past most recent years, the Valentine’s Day is becoming popular and being recognized widely in India. The new generation of India has overruled the conservative traditions and beliefs against the Valentine’s Day celebrations in Indian continent.
The people in India particularly young men and women celebrate the Valentine’s Day just like most of the people do it in other parts of world. On account of Valentine’s Day celebrations in India, people buy flowers and roses from local florist or they order valentine flowers delivery at online flower store to get it delivered to their beloved on Valentine’s Day. Hotel, pubs and restaurants are fully booked to accommodate couples who are expressing their love and celebrating the occasion with each other.
Observance and symbol.
In nutshell we can say that the day of love or rather festival of love – Valentine’s Day is a very popular day with significant observance across the globe. The dazzling effect of this most romantic day has made this festival to become popular in countries like India where old faith and conservative religious background have a very deep establishment in culture that never allows any new tradition that is contrary to what is already prevailed.
Fresh flowers especially red roses have long been associated with the Valentine’s Day. Flowers stand for love friendship and romance and red rose symbolizes the true love and commitment. A red rose also symbolize the inherent feeling of love and passion. Hence, red roses are the most preferred flower on Valentine’s Day. Besides, flowers and roses, Love birds and Cupids also symbolize and significantly mark the celebration of Valentine’s Day.