Every 14 February, love is celebrated through Valentine’s Day. For many people, this is a special day where acts of love such as gifts of flowers, chocolates, invitations to restaurants, declarations of love or small sexy gifts go unnoticed. But despite these acts of kindness, is true love still at the heart of these all-out celebrations?
Valentine’s Day, 14 February, is considered in many countries to be the holiday for lovers. Couples take the opportunity to exchange kind words and gifts as proof of love, as well as red roses, which are the emblem of passion. Today, many people have decided to take advantage of this holiday: pastry chefs, florists, perfumers… they all bend over backwards to offer that little extra something that will make hearts skip a beat.
“I love you, I love you more…”
The original Valentine’s Day is about love and passion. Although the gifts come second to invigorate the romantic atmosphere. In the cities of African capitals (Cotonou, Dakar, Abidjan, Bamako, Ouagadougou…), the arteries of the streets are dotted with white red. Valentines (lovers) and Valentines (lovers) rush to ready-to-wear boutiques, shops and restaurants to make purchases and reservations. Without a doubt, flames of love will be activated or at least reactivated in the evening. For Sabine B., met in front of a ready-to-wear shop in Godomey, it is an opportunity to renew her alliance with her beloved: “I bought a watch for my darling. Just to show him how much I love him… Tonight I want to experience love in its new state…laughter”.
Unlike Crespin H. “With this bouquet of flowers, I hope to make it up to her tonight. I made a reservation and thank God she agreed to come. I hope she will forgive me…”. These words imply that 14 February is all about love. However, love seems to give way to debauchery and commerce
14 February, synonymous with romantic sales and debauchery
Is there really love at the centre of the Valentine’s Day celebration today? This question is worth asking. For some, this is a time to get rich. It is a real challenge for professionals and shopkeepers to do big business. Jewellery, flowers, holidays, dinners in restaurants, Valentine’s Day has become a romantic sale.
For others, this is the time to rob their Valentine with exorbitant and unnecessary expenses. It is also a day of intense sex and sexual depravity. All this is to the detriment of the poor and underage girls who sacrifice themselves for a night of pleasure. God only knows how many pregnancies will be registered and how many abortions will be performed after this holiday. By the way, what about the origin of this festival?
On the etymology of Valentine’s Day
One of the origins goes back to the Middle Ages. At that time the Church decided to celebrate Valentine of Terni, a martyred priest of the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century, the latter had made a habit of organising Christian marriages, which were then forbidden by Emperor Claudius II, who feared that men would become too attached to their wives. The celebration of these secret marriages led to the arrest of Valentin de Terni. He was then sentenced to death… on 14 February. In 495, Pope Gelasius I decided to canonise him and designate him the patron saint of lovers.
Another source of this festival goes back to antiquity. This time, the Romans celebrated Lupercus, the god of fertility and protector against wolves, from 13 to 15 February by organising the Lupercales in the streets of Rome. During this race, the priests flogged the passers-by with leather straps, thinking that this would ensure their fertility.
Finally, another legend, another country, and another time. In the 14th century, for the English, 14 February was the beginning of the mating season, as this was when the birds started to mate. From that time on, star-crossed lovers used to declare their love by writing love poems to each other during this period. A custom that Charles of Orleans, then imprisoned across the Channel, decided to bring back to France in the 15th century.
Love is celebrated daily. Nevertheless, this day is a symbol of celebration. The backbone of love is not found in Valentine’s Day. Rather, it is found in the affection that the Valentine has for his Valentine and vice versa.