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Today is February 14 and it is Valentine’s Day. Call it an ill effect of market driven economy or ongoing globalization, Valentine’s day has become an occasion of global celebrations. Even the cultures and communities that have otherwise no links to Valentine’s Day have also adopted it. Take for example, India: a country with glorious traditions, a leader in spirituality and sanatana dharma. has fallen to commercial forces of Valentine’s Day. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is considered a marker of modernity. However, majority of people do not even know about its origin and what exactly does it stand for.
Let us go into a bit of history and delve into origin and journey of Valentine’s Day. The article taken from National Public Radio (USA) tells us that in ancient Roman times, February 13 to 15 were observed as the feast of Lupercalia. It adds: “The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain”.
Sometime along the way, Roman kings executed 2 men named valentine on February 14 on two different days of history. The Church however gave a religious tone to these executions, transforming them to Saints, hence the name St Valentine. Also, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day around the same time. Galatin literally means ‘lover of women’ and over time, it was likely confused with Valentine’s day.
With Hallmark company of USA starting printing cards for this day in 1913, the commercial onslaught began and the World has not been same since then. Today Valentine’s Day churns out a 18 Billion dollar business.
To read the whole article and educate yourself on the dark side of Valentin’s Day, go to NPR.
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