Once again this day presents itself with intense emotions like love, hope and possible rejection.
But what is love? There are so many facets to love but it can best be described as a mysterious force that binds people, it is powerful yet intangible, intense and yet abstract, ever evolving and not perfect as many believe as unrequited love can destroy many a soul.
Love at its best can heighten our emotions making us feeling truly alive!
And though some may be left with bitterness there is something so positive in the saying "It is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all"
The history of Valentine's Day has been discussed in an earlier article so this one will focus on celebrations perhaps stranger than ones familiar to us, popular gifts on the day and some comical reactions after being rejected.
Traditions in different countries
Japanese women are some-what reserved when it comes to "lovey-dovey" gestures. However, chocolates are still on top of the list and if a gentleman receives a home-made chocolate he will be deemed a very lucky man!
When no romance is intended "obligation chocolates" can be given to one's boss, a brother, nephew and so on.
In these countries quirky, traditions exist, like funny, written rhymes and poems are sent to women, with gaps in the signature acting as a clue to the writer.
Those who guess correctly are awarded with an Easter egg
Older folklore had girls and women attaching bay leaves to their pillow, accompanied by the rhyme "be kind to me and in dreams, let me my true love see".
In a country like this Valentine's Day is disapproved not being an Islamic tradition. In fact red is banned around this day and not even the proverbial red rose is allowed. Gift shops having any western influence are raided by "The commission for the promotion of Virtue" in case married people compromise their vows!!
Some of the stranger gifts encountered are:
An edible card made of rice paper, decorated with a heart comprised of colourful "smarties".
A beauty pillow that beats like the human heart when hugged and switches off after 20 minutes
A "cookie Sutra book" derived from the Kama Sutra but all action displayed by cookie characters!
And an affluent suitor may send a coffee cup, the handle being a 22 carat gold ring topped with a diamond. A truly exotic way of saying "marry me"!!
Then lastly not everyone is enchanted with February the 14th so anti-valentine gifts also exist so that the sender may indulge his or her bitter heart.
Typical tokens include a card with a heart having a dagger through it, text such as "you are worse than my worst boyfriend" a bunch of wilted and drooping red roses or a doll studded with pins voodoo style!
Also available are boxes of heart shaped sweets with messages like "you turn me off, you are a fine whine, you are aging badly and get lost'!
Well, just in case you may think that this Valentine's Day celebration is a waste of time, the Commercial world will have very different sentiments. Just think of the booming business experienced by the florists, restaurants, stationers and service providers when thousands of text messages will be flying back and forth, not to forget the stimulation to face book and twitter!
MATSIMELA has a delightful range of Valentine's options; pop into one of our stores and treat that special someone today!