Project 365 – 14th Feb 2010

Posted: February 14, 2010 in Project 365
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Day 14 – Valentine’s Day

Some interesting dates revolving around this day:

Very Ancient times/Pre-Roman – Lupercalis is celebrated as a pagan festival of puritity and fertility

AD 289 – Valentine of Rome is martyred. Emperor Claudius was claimed to have banned his troops from marrying so they would be better soldiers. Valentine, a Christian priest, was arrested for carrying out secret weddings.

AD 496 – Pope Gelasius declares the 14th of February a Christian feast day in a possible ‘if you can’t beat them – join them’ response to Lupercalis.

AD 1601 – Shakesphere personifies the extent to which the 14th February is becoming associated with modern meaning of love, romance and love letters in his play Hamlet. This quote is from Ophelia: “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.”

Mid 18th Century – The passing of love notes becomes popular and decreasing postal costs makes the anonymous Valentine’s card more popular.

AD 1913 – As the Daily Telegraph says “If you felt cynical, you might call this date the beginning of the end for St Valentine’s Day as a genuinely romantic event, and the start of its reinvention of a savagely imposed regime of sugar-coated tweeness designed to chisel spare cash out of lovers and would-be lovers worldwide” Hallmark produces it’s first Valentine’s Day Card

AD 2010 – The Greeting Card Company claim Valentine’s cards sell in quantities only second to Christmas cards.

So what is it all about in 2010? Commercialism? Expressing love? Romance? Cynicism? Exuberance? Finding love? The photo I took on King Street today shows the couple walking away from the camera expressing their love, and 2 people walking towards them with an almost wistful look on their faces. Although they are rather blurred faces so maybe it says something about me that that was my interpretation! I wonder is this the typical Valentine’s Day scene?!

It’s an interesting exploration, unfortunately I was so busy opening cards and receiving flowers all day that I didn’t get talking to enough people to ask for their opinion on the day… I did, however, see a tv interview with Demi Moore where she suggested it should encompass love of all kinds not just the romantic variety. I don’t know though, I love my Apple MacBook but I’d look an idiot buying it dinner! Any other comments are very welcome!

Quote of the day: “J’irai chercher ton cœur si tu l’emportes ailleurs, Même si dans tes danses, d’autres dansent des heures” Jean-Jacques Goldman


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