Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Although the origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery, the feast of St. Valentine was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I. There was a Valentine holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270.

However, many authors have suggested that Valentine's Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. It was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility in the spring.

Whatever historical reasons we can find to explain this celebration, the fact is that nowadays it is used as an worldwide excuse to go romantic for a day.

People get mad trying to buy love: Valentine cards, chocolates, flowers, supper, parties...

It would be interesting to find out how people from other countries celebrate or feel Saint Valentine. You could start by asking the foreign students in your class the way they say love words in their mother tongue, and their opinion about this celebration. Here are some opinions from people of your age:

Romance can happen on any day of the year. Why do two people need to manufacture it on a holiday invented by other people?
Peter Smith, UK

Mankind is becoming increasingly practical. What's the point of wasting time on courting and purchasing chocolate, when you're going to end up having sex anyhow?
Andrej, Russia

Romance and courtship is the nice name humans put on Mating, and why not? We do need to take time out and appreciate the ones we hold dear. You certainly don't need over priced roses to do that! Long Live Love!

Ian, Scotland

You'll be surprised to learn that people show love in very different ways around the world. That there are kisses, French kisses and rubbing of noses as Eskimos and Polynesians do. By the way, I don't want to make you paranoid, but just to tell you there's no such thing as "safe kissing" so keep that in mind. You can catch anything from just a cold to a pretty serious sexually transmitted disease by kissing, especially if you have any cuts in your mouth.

The latest trend is virtual love. It's not only finding a boyfriend by e-mail, but finding your ideal virtual man or woman. After the robot dogs and fish, Tamagotchi, the portable cyber pet, and virtual popstars. Now it's the girlfriends and boyfriends who are virtual. Games such as Falling in Love by Mail, My Prince and First Love Game are just a few of the dozens of online games developed for the i-mode internet-capable phones.

Bandai Network's Mail de Koi Shite (or Falling in Love by Mail) is targeted towards men who are given the choice of seven virtual women, including a school teacher and a nurse.

During a three-month email courtship, the user must seduce his cyber-love by scoring as many points as possible by finding out as much as he can about his "girlfriend" - apparently not always an easy task.

She might get irritated because she doesn't receive as many emails as she wishes and give the player a hard time. But that doesn't seem to stop many of them from wanting to continue their affairs.

After a certain amount of emails has been sent, the girlfriend delivers her verdict: "I really like you" and the more disappointing "we can still be friends" are on the cards.

As you see, there are many ways of feeling love, what about you?

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