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Monday, 14 February 2011

Love of Profit

Why do we celebrate Valentines day? Every year on February 14th I tell all those close to me the real story behind Valentines day only to be told that I am a 'misery-arse' and that I need to 'cheer up'. This year is my first year with a blog so with this post I aim spread my message of hostility all over the world.

The Original Valentines Day:
Although Saint Valentine was a real person who lived during the 2nd century, Valentines day is not actually named for him. Instead 'Valentine' is a pseudonym for all unknown Christian martyrs used by Pope Gelasius in 496 in implementing a day to remember the fallen Christian soldier, so in reality when you're asking somebody to 'be your valentine' you are actually asking them to give their lives for a noble Christian cause. This is still well known in the Catholic church which is why in 1969 Pope Paul VI, appalled with the commericailisation of this historic day, ordered  the removal of Valentines day from the Christian Calender.

How it all went Wrong:
As I mentioned Valentines day was never about love, so how did it become so? Well the first recorded incident of  a Valentines day day as we know it today was during the English Renaissance, where world renown poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote 'Parlement of Foules' which reads; "For this was Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate".

Google's Valentine Logo
Valentines Day as We Know It:
Although Chaucer had wrote this poem, it was still only the upper class and social elite who were even aware of his work, so at what point did it become the Valentines day you and I celebrate? Well believe it all not Valentines day wasn't publicly known worldwide until the early 19th century. Valentines day only became  so popular after the boom of the UK's greeting card industry in the late 18th century and was created to fill gaps in profit between Christmas and Easter, a trend which quickly spread across Europe and to the US.

So there you have it, although the Romans first created Valentines day, it was an Englishmen who first made it about romance, and the British who made it about profit. Every year the profit form Valentines day trade increases with last year totaling £1.3 in the UK alone, with traditional cards going out of fashion in lieu of bigger more expensive gifts (mostly perfume or jewelry).

-Profiteering or innovation at it's best?
-Who is to blame? The companies or the suckers who are willing to pay?

19 comments:

  1. I blame the companies, because they commercialized this!

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  2. Wow I never knew that whole "greeting card company" saying was true. Go figure.

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  3. this should be a sentimental day, not a commercial day...

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  4. I blame the companies... you cant avoid them. Theres commercials all over the tv, promotions in every store window, its almost inevitable.

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  5. Damn you greeting card companies! Damn you!

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  6. I'm gonna trademark my own insipid holiday and get rich on greeting cards...

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  7. companies definitely man. i also feel it's lost it's meaning and yeah.. but hey, free chocolates are awesome^^

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  8. I thought it was made to make single people feel bad, haha.

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  9. valentines day should be stopped

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  10. I agree with daan completly.. :(

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  11. Englishmen have had a bum rap for being "Miserable" and "Unromantic" whereas most of the greatest romantic literature comes from Englishmen. Of course there are those Brits who want to capitalize on anything and everything (Colonialism..London Stock Exchange..) It's like "Wow this bloke came up with something good, let's make money!"

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  12. completely retarded day purely commercial.

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  13. Today was a good Valentines day for me (G)

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  14. I completely forgot about it this year.

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  15. I blame the fat shit I'm about to take

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  16. Im glad I didnt ask any girls to sacrifice their lives then.

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  17. well people have the choice of whether or not to celebrate this holiday. Like any holiday I think it was started with good intentions but has been perverted by capitalism but hey w/e

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