Valentine's Day. A holiday that brings out many emotions from many different people groups. People who are dating get each other gifts. Married people do something romantic. Some people fail to remember it and get dumped. Single people post Facebook statuses complaining about their lives. What does Valentine's Day produce around us in present times?
Valentine's Day Stats
Approximately one billion Valentine cards are exchanged each year, making Valentine's day the largest seasonal card-selling occasion of the year next to Christmas. Approximately 110 million roses (the majority of them being red) will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period during the Valentine's Day celebrations. February 14th is the most important holiday for florists, accounting for 32% of annual sales. Approximately 3% of pet owners will give a Valentine's Day gift to their pet. Where did this all come from? What are the origins of Valentine's Day? Why does this holiday get so much attention? The peculiar thing about Valentine's Day is that we can celebrate it without knowing exactly what we are celebrating.
Valentine's Day Origins
The origins of Valentine's Day can be traced back to around 3rd of 4th century B.C. There were two ancient Roman festivals celebrated between February 13th and 18th called "Parentalia" and "Feralia". The objective of these festivals was to match willing young women with young men to be married. This took place by the names of women being written down and placed in a box or urn and being drawn out. In the advent of Christianity, the Roman concepts were replaced in large part by various Christian overtones.
Valentine's Day Symbols
The heart is a common symbol that is found everywhere surrounding Valentine's Day. A timeless word picture that has prevailed throughout the ages is that the heart is the core of all human emotions. Therefore, the giving of a heart to another signifies the giving of everything. The heart can be understood as not just an artery, but figuratively can be understood as the control center of a human being. We see this in Proverbs 4:23, where it is written "Guard your heart above all else, for from it flow the springs of life." And in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:21, "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also." That being said, in giving your heart to another, you are also giving them control in a sense, and you are also giving them a chief position of high treasure in your life in order to allow them to possess your heart or "control center."
What is Valentine's Day really all about? And more importantly, who was St. Valentine? Come back on Valentine's Day to find out!
Photo credit: Michelle Tribe