Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's...

Wow it's been quite some time since I blogged. I didn't get any ideas to write about. Even now, I don't know what I'm going to write about.

Well.. let's talk about the speciality of yesterday, the Valentine's Day. What is Valentine's Day and how did it come about?

The origins of Valentine's Day rests on the martyrdom of eleven saints of Catholic Church. That's disturbing, because how did a day of memorial become a day of courtly love?

It turns out that the saints called Saint Valentine had no connection to the romantic overtones of this day. Neither did Lupercalia, a rite celebrated in Ancient Rome on Feb 15 which put an emphasis on fertility, but not romance.

A literature from 1382 by Geoffrey Chaucer...

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [choose] his make [mate].

... had a reference to Valentine's Day and the mating of birds. Although this is the earliest known reference connecting Valentine's Day with romance, it does not link the date Feb 14, as mid February is not a mating season for birds in England. What next?

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a "High Court of Love" was established in Paris on Valentine's Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading.

I guess this is the earliest event that truly solidified the link of Valentine's Day with romance and courtly love. Many other literatures followed about Valentine's Day.

The V-Day ended being a Catholic HolyDay and became a local or national holiday in 1969, when the Roman Calendar was revised.

In our times, it was popularised, as you can guess, by flourishing businesses such as jewellery, and a changing perspective on love. Everything put together, the romantic overtones of V-Day has no connection to it's origin or Saint Valentine.

Talking about perspective on love, research shows that marriage rates are declining. This means more and more people are not honouring the value of marriage bond, and are deeming it unnecessary for a loving couple.

First, it was sex that came out of marriage, now even love is coming out of marriage. In ancient times, it was culturally accepted to not have sex with a woman unless the man is married to her. Today's culture, especially American, demeans such a man who abstains from sex until marriage as being a sissy. Even though Asian cultures still respect this tradition, Westernisation is slowly changing it.

Even those who do marry, are no longer respecting the traditional terms of marriage bond. This bond is for life, till death do you part. Latest marriages are treated like wearing a coat. When the day is over, you take off the coat and the next day, you put on a new one. Divorces are given for the lamest of reasons. The only traditionally accepted reason for divorce is adultery. Now even the wife sitting on the husband's chair becomes a reason.

What's more fulfilling than finding the best girl within your reach, marrying her and committing yourself to her for life, then making love to her?

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