Valentine’s day or Saint Valentines Day is celebrated the world over as the day of Love. It is a day that Couples celebrate their love for each other. This is often celebrated by exchanging gifts with each other. Romantic lunches or Dinners with each other are the most common forms of the way Valentines Day is celebrated. Common gifts exchanged between couples have historically been flowers and Chocolates. However modern times have seen many other forms of gifts that are gifted.
There are many theories that exist on how this day came into being. The oldest is that of Saint Valentine of Rome who was executed for conducting wedding ceremonies of Soldiers or Rome. In the Roman empire during that era Soldiers were forbidden to marry. They had to pledge their allegiance to the Roman Empire. He also conducted Weddings for Christians who were persecuted by the Roman Empire.
This act of defiance was not appreciated by the Roman Empire. Who imprisoned Saint Valentine and had him executed. There were also beliefs that say that while he was imprisoned, he cured the Blindness of the Daughter of the Judge that had ordered his execution. It is also believed that just before being executed he had written a letter to the Judge’s Daughter signing it as “Your Valentine”. The term which is now in common use today when lovers exchange gifts or greetings.
Valentine’s Day’s existence in India less than 30 years
Although the tradition of Valentine’s day has been in existence from centuries in the west. The tradition entered India only as late as 1992. With the advent of satellite television in India during the early 90s. Channels like MTV introduced this festival to India. Followed by Card Companies aggressively advertising the day and the products that it had to Offer. Thereby making Valentines Day more of commercial exploitation rather than an actual expression of Celebration of a Day of Love.
There have been many fundamentalist groups all across the country that have shown their dissent to the celebration of the event. They have disrupted many events that Celebrated Valentines Day across the Country. They have accused western ideologies of corrupting the Indian society with concepts that would ruin age-old traditions of Joint Families, Arranged marriages, full-time mother’s etc.