Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

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Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentine’s provokes laughter (and sometimes a cry), but do we know why?

My poor attempt at a poem aside, what is the real reason for Valentine’s Day and has it become another victim of consumerism? I’ll admit, who doesn’t like PDAs, particularly in the form of flowers and chocolates? However, I wonder if we’re all guilty of forgetting why we mark key cultural and religious holidays.

So, I revert back to the history books and the advent of Saint Valentine’s Day – a holiday observed on 14 February, honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. Apparently, the day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Well, who knew?

Admittedly, Valentine’s Day has evolved since the 15th Century into a day when lovers ‘express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards’. That said, surely we still have a responsibility to reaffirm important cultural messages offered to us by days such as these and prevent them being lost in bouquets and chocolates.

OK, I’m being miserable – as I sit here staring at two big bouquets delivered to my colleagues, not me! So, as Ella Fitzgerald would say: ‘Let’s do it, let’s fall in love’!