So, this article will be about my observations of the changing trend of the popular "festival" called Valentine's Day. Yea, yea, I know what you're all thinking as soon as I said that.

But, did it ever cross your mind that Valentine's Day is slowly but surely changing in its trend? That people are slowly moving from one way of celebrating it to another? Personally, this is fascinating to me - has been, ever since I first discovered it for myself. Then again, every festival changes its trend in its own way.

So, Valentine's Day. Valentine was the name of a man during a time when the Roman Empire was still holy and all-powerful. We all know what that was, don't we? Let me know if any of you don't know what I'm talking about. There are several legends going around the world that claim to be the sole origin of this festival of love and romance. I've got two of them up my sleeve; let's see what they both tell us.

According to one story, Valentine was a priest, who officiated marriages in a town somewhere in the Roman Empire. During this particular war, the king who was ruling then realised that bachelors and unmarried men fought more loyally for him in comparison to married men. So, in order to ensure he'd get the kind of soliders he wanted, he banned marriages. Yes, you read it right: he banned marriages. Valentine, however, turned out to be a rebel. He knew that this was a grave mistake (don't ask me why, I don't see how it's a mistake) and so, resumed his job but in secret. He was eventually found out (perhaps he was betrayed?) and executed.

Another legend goes to say that Valentine was already in prison. Priest or no, I don't know. But, he was supposed to have fallen in love with the daughter of his jailer, who visited him often. Probably brought him fruits and the like. Shortly before his execution (apparently he erred gravely - he seemed to have been a rebel, no matter the story), he was supposed to have sent a card to this daughter expressing his love for her. Of course, we do not know if she felt the same for him. But then, when was History ever fair to us women?

Yea, that question will go in a whole other direction if we dwelt on it.

Gradually, the day Valentine was executed came to be celebrated as a new festival in his name.

But, did you know that Valentine's Day was not originally on the 14th of February? Yea, me neither - I assumed that he was executed or born on the 14th of February. I found out in history.com, when I was doing a little research to write this article.

So, Valentine's Day was borrowed by the Pagans to legalise their own festival called Lupercalia, where they perform a ritual (naturally, it includes animal sacrifice) to celebrate fertility. Women at this time happily looked forward to this day. Hence, it was the Pagans that decided that the 15th of February would be called Valentine's Day in the name of its patron martyr, to disguise their own ritual. [I was going to say "illegal ritual", but that's only a relative term; to them, it was perfectly legal. It all depends on perception and individual sense of right and wrong.]

However, at the end of the 5th Century, this Lupercalia was outlawed by the Pope of that time (I hope we all know who that is) and he shifted Valentine's Day to the 14th instead of the 15th. With practice and enough usage, it wasn't too hard for this day to be associated with love and romance. Enough number of high class people exchanged greetings on this day to make it so. (Again, this is the unfairness of History. Or, incorrect interpretation.) As far as my memory goes, people have been taking out or surprising their partners or loved ones on this day of love.

But, I started this post saying that I'd noticed a slight change in the trend; I'm sure some of you did, just as well. For the past couple years or so, I've been noticing more and more articles or just rantings around the 14th of February about how self-love is just as important as romantic love. More and more people (especially the singles) tend to express their feelings about how loving themselves is all they want to do on Valentine's Day. I even saw guides and stuff on this thing.

I'm not saying this is a good or a bad thing. It's definitely good, in a way. But also, I wonder if they come out with such things only to make themselves feel good? It would be interesting if somebody said yes to this.

Now, how did I spend my Valentine's Day? Frankly, I've been flitting between romantic love and self-love. I actually didn't know what to do with either. So, I did the only thing that I usually do when I'm faced with such a dilemma: read and write. Yes, I did just that. Of course, I also wrote poems about how I was confused about my feelings; you might have seen them in my previous posts this week.

So, what did you do on Valentine's Day? Share your thoughts - I'd love to hear them!


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