Saturday, 14 February 2009
I didn't intend a Valentine's Day post because to me it's not an important event. I'm slipping this one in while I should be doing other things because I'm intrigued by different ways of marking the day.
When my sons were small they used to come home from school with offerings such as the one above. That was created with care and love by my elder son, when he could barely write, so it has survived several moves and I've had it a lifetime. I took it to be a way for the teachers to teach children about significant dates and at the same time have some craft practice.
Then when it comes to teenage years, Valentine cards fly around, and there are great discussions about how many people have got, and more importantly, from whom. As teenagers become young adults, the pairing off begins and Valentines are for lovers.
And that's the sum total of my experience of Valentine's Day. As far as I'm concerned, it is a time for lovers to tell each other how much they mean to each other, not a time to send out greetings to all and sundry, not a time for greeting friends and acquaintances. To me, saying "Happy Valentine's Day" sounds odd, a little like saying "Happy Ides of March". To me, it's a day that some people may mark more or less privately, but by no means everyone. Yes, couples may go out for a meal together but it would be unlikely, I think, for them to go in a group.
So, finally I get to my point, and that is to ask is Valentine's Day an actual celebration in some countries? Would you greet you neighbour with "Happy Valentine's Day" in the same way as you would wish them a happy New Year? In what way is the day marked?