Stories of the open road

Tales of a Vagabond...

By Pathum Punchihewa

Every February, across the world sweeps the wave of Valentine’s Day. In fact today it has become a part of lifestyle, almost an important part of teenage lives. Now, we are not going to discuss about the right or wrong of celebrating Valentine’s Day or criticize teen behaviors on their holy day but let’s have a little talk about this Legendary day, dedicated for romance and your ‘2 days ahead’ big plans.
Do we have to read a History lesson? Well, at least then you will be able to pass the story to your girl friend and play the genius’ role on Valentines’ day eve.
The history of Valentine's Day, and its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. (You were not the ones who invented the day of romance guys and gals…!)
Valentine’s Day or St. Valentine's Day marked on ancient Christian and Roman history pages. Nevertheless Valentine's Day as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. And according to the legend, after his death, which took place on a day, middle of February, began to consider as the day of holy romance.
According to another interesting legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl who may have been his jailor's daughter who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine', an expression that is still in use today.
Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
Now what do you have to ask about today ‘Valentine’s Day’? As we live in 21st century naturally the Valentine’s Day becomes more commercial. Expensive gift packs, High budget candle light dinners, double priced Red roses, Heart throbbing Chocolate packs and many other stuff are enunciate the modern Valentines’ Day.
I have some simple suggestions for teens who willing to make an amazing date, a fantastic valentines’ eve out with your lover or sweet heart, instead of expensive, high budget, money wasting anecdotes. Let’s draft an accurate and romantic Valentine’s Day eve without expensive stuff.
Pink, Red and White are considering as the official colors of Valentine’s Day. Red Symbolizes warmth and feelings and it associate with the color of the human heart. White is a symbol of purity. In some cases it means the faith of the love that two people have for each other. And pink which created as a combination of Red and White, is consider as a symbol of innocence in some cases.
The custom of exchanging love notes goes back to the Roman times. But the British were the ones who popularized sending ‘your feelings to someone’ via a printed card. As the history explains, the first new age Valentine card was created by Charles, Duke of Orleans, imprisoned in the tower of London for several years following the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. He sent Valentine poems to his wife in France from his jail cell.
Now, why don’t you intend to make your own Valentine card for your guy or lady? It will be an amazing gift for her instead of purchasing costly card from a shop. And one day it will be branded after your name…!
According to the customs, the Red rose is the symbol of Love but it is not a precept. If you deem that flowers will be a good choice to make your Valentines’ day blissful, try his or her favorite flowers, Orchids or Jasmines or Lillis.
You are not demanded to arrange a lavish eve for your lady love guys. Always you can envisage with ‘romantic’ concepts in place of ‘expensive’ concepts.
Now I don’t opine to write more and more about pleasing and attractive Valentines’ Day plans because it’s up to you now. And history lessons will be helpful to see a new perspective in your 2010 Valentines’ Day.
To me each day of each year will be a Valentines’ Day, if you determine about Valentines’ Day with a holistic approach, theoretically. But no worries, 2010 Valentines’ day is for you to enjoy. Let’s consider it as a Holy day to refresh your love.

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is eternity.
-          Henry Van Dyke

Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror ( 11th February 2010)


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