The month of love
The first images that probably pops into people’s minds when they think about the month of February, is Valentine’s Day. This day has different meaning to a lot of people around the world. Some of these views are accurately portrayed in Garry Marshall’s movie, Valentine’s Day (2010), starring Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba.
Examples of these views are the old married couple, young love, love for your family, unrequited love and the one women most probably fantasize about is the unexpected love one can find in a stranger or a friend.
Then to others February is only another month and the 14th is just like any other ordinary day. To businessmen, whose shops get decorated almost a month beforehand, it means good business and money.
With all these different views of Valentine’s Day, one can’t help to wonder what the true meaning of this day is suppose to be. According to history a Christian Martyr was executed on the 14th of February for defining a Roman emperor, who ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods. Valentinus, dedicated to the ideals of Christ, was arrested and thrown into jail. There he spent his time teaching the jailer’s daughter, Julia, of Roman history, of nature and of God. On the day before his death, Valentinus wrote one last note to Julia encouraging her to keep faith in God and signed it “From your Valentine”.
Today on Saint Valentine’s Day people from all around the world celebrate this day by exchanging gifts or spending time with loved ones in order to show their love and devotion to each other.
So maybe Valentine’s Day is only a marketing stunt or an excuse to demand expensive gifts or even alone time with a lover. But then again maybe it’s a message from the third century about what friendship and love is really supposed to be about.
Author: Irene van Staden
Irene van Staden is currently a third year student at the University of Stellenbosch, studying BA (Art and Culture). Her interests range from, visual art, literature, art festivals, theatre, cultural movements and student life.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Story of St. Valentine.n.d.Online. Available: http://www.olrl.org/lives/valentine.shtml [10 Febuary 2015].
Film: Valentine’s Day (2010)