The origins of Valentine's Day
Here's the reason for all the hype...
Aaah, the season of love. Valentine's Day might not be celebrated as a public holiday here in Singapore. That, however, hasn't hindered the exchange of chocolate hearts, blushes and a whole range of sweet treats!
So we celebrate the day of reds and pinks with gusto and gifts. But do you know the origins of Valentine's Day?
Of St. Valentine:
Valentine's Day was named after one of the early Christian martyrs, Saint Valentine. Interestingly enough, there has been no lore of its founding to explain why Saint Valentine was associated with the sentimental relationships.
As such, many folklore and legendary tales have emerged, to portray Valentine as the tragic, romantic hero of a noble and lovelorn life. The story goes that he was a priest at the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. During which no soldier was allowed to marry.
Valentine, however, secretly performed marriages for the young soldiers, and thus imitated the role of cupid. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to the guillotine when his actions were uncovered.
It gets better...
Modern history has embroidered this story further. It was said that his last night alive was spent writing a note professing his love to a young girl who was allegedly blind.
Legend has it that when she received the note, her sight was miraculously restored. This allowing her to read the note, signed "From Your Valentine".
Of Cherubs and Cupid:
With the word cupid, or cherub, the image of the sweet little baby faces among fluffy white clouds pops up in our minds. Like most modern representations, however, this is simply an adaptation of the original figures.
Cupid was, according to Roman mythology, the son of Venus and Mars, spending his days with his bow and arrow and a mischievous attitude, making people fall in love or hate with each other.
So if they aren't cupids, what exactly are they?
The real and little-known identities of these baby-faced motifs of Valentine's Day are that of putti. Which, are more commonly (and mistakenly) known as cherubs. These should not be mistaken with cherubim, the four-headed winged creature of the Bible.
Confusing, isn't it?
The little, winged babies thus popularly acquired the character of frolicking meddlers, inspiring love and attraction between people.
Doves are another popular motif related to Valentine's Day. The image of the two lovebirds is a symbol of dedication and love, simply because doves are known to mate for life. In other words, #truelove of the feathered world.
Let's not forget...
Valentine's Day is a day where we make extra effort to show our loved ones how much they mean to us. This, however, shouldn't be an excuse to neglect them the rest of the year!
Make sure your partner knows all year round just how much you appreciate them. It doesn't have to be with big elaborate gestures, either. More often than not, it's the little things.
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