Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

When christians question why I still like certain holidays even though I am an atheist, I tell them I like the traditional pagan aspects of these holidays just like christians do. Cupids, hearts, arrows, bunnies, leprechans, Santa Claus, flying reindeer, jack-o-lanterns, decorated trees are all fun pagan traditions and myths that are embraced by christians and non-christians alike.


Many stories and legends exist as to how Valentine's day came to be. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.


What Santa Claus is to Christmas, Cupid is to Valentine's Day. Cupid is a big part of the hearts and arrows themes in decorations and illustrations that even children send. In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of erotic love. He is equated with the Greek God Eros and one of his Latin names is Eros. He is also called Amor, Latin for love.

The History of Valentine's Day
Fun Facts About Valentine's Day


Deedee said...

My husband asked me today what I wanted for Valentine's Day. After I told him it was a little late to be asking that ;) I said nothing.

I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's day. I think people should be doing this all year. A lot of people are jerks to each other 364 days a year, but when Valentine's Day rolls around, they expect everything to be peachy-keen. I just don't get off on the whole thing.

I do like the chocolate, though!

Stardust said...

My husband and I don't give each other presents or anything for Valentine's day. I think the decorations are pretty and the idea of showing love is cool, but I agree with you that it should also apply to the other 364 days of the year too (which it does with my hubby and me---see the poem I wrote about him on my other blog). :-)It is mostly just another Hallmark Holiday and about stores making money.

I buy myself candy. I especially love the red cinnamon hearts. :-)

JDHURF said...

Yeah I don’t understand Christian holidays and the secular iconic figures that represent them. I have said before that it seems odd that such holidays as Christmas is supposed to be the birth of a mythological figure (to be taken seriously) but is celebrated by a figure that is admitted to be myth yet children are led to believe in the reality of Santa and when they find out the truth they are still expected to believe in Jesus. That seems odd to me, two mythic figures and one will admit to the myth of one yet hold on to the reality of the other, why?