A very Roman romance: Valentine’s v’s Spring
This greetings and gift day apparently has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia which celebrated the coming of Spring. The whole ‘romance’ part came from the fact that the festival included a lottery which paired off women with men. Let’s leave the notion that today’s ‘declaration of love day’ derives from a lottery where women are prizes, and instead focus on the part that roots valentines in the coming of Spring.
Spring is absolutely all about new beginnings and the start of something special. Valentine’s day taps into this and pitches itself to new couples declaring or marking their love, or to longstanding couples reminding each other that they still do care as much now, as they did at the beginning of their relationship.
However, Spring is also three months long and is a key part of the rhythm of each and every year – the other seasons couldn’t exist without it. Without wanting to come across sounding like wizened ‘old hands’ (we’re 22 years into the journey) – but the current ‘festival of love’ is just a 24-hour period in time. And the gifts touted at this time of the year have their own short expiry dates too - flowers & chocolates and what we call ‘heart shaped tat’ (or straight to landfill).
So, if you do mark Valentine’s, why not think beyond the day for gifts that last for the whole of Spring and far beyond? Gifts that mark the test of time and only get better with age - and trigger a memory when used.