Love and Romance: Celebrating Valentine’s Day
February: the month of love. It’s when shades of red and pink seem ever-present, and oversized teddy bears fill shop aisles. It’s a season for celebrating love, centered around the tradition of St. Valentine’s day.
Thanks to Valentine’s day, February has long been associated with romance. But when did the holiday start? Who was St. Valentine?
While there are several stories surrounding St. Valentine, it’s all steeped in myth and legend. The facts are harder to pin down. Some stories state that Valentine was a priest who married young lovers. Others tell stories of a man in prison, who wrote love letters from jail--signed, of course, “from your Valentine.”
Most sources agree that the original Valentine was executed by the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. Later, the Catholic Church honored him as a martyr and declared him a saint.
The celebration of Valentine’s day has both pagan and Christian origins. In ancient Roman times, Lupercalia was a pagan holiday, celebrated on the 15th of February each year. In the 5th century, the pope declared February 14th to be the feast of St. Valentine. The two holidays, celebrated just one day apart, merged into what we now recognize as Valentine’s Day.
In the 1300s, Valentine’s Day first appeared in poetry. Chaucer and Shakespeare helped romanticise the tradition. The oldest known Valentine’s love letter was written in 1415, and is now housed in the British Library in London. In the 1600s, Valentine’s Day was popularly celebrated, and by the 1750s, friends and lovers would regularly exchange notes and gifts.
Since then, traditions have grown and gained popularity, from elementary school parties to romantic dinners between lovers. Valentine’s Day slowly became what we recognize today--doilies, chocolates, and all.
When you love someone, showering them with gifts is natural. Roses, chocolate, and love letters mark the holiday, but one gift is guaranteed to outlast the season. Jewelry is a token that proclaims long-lasting love. Diamonds won’t degrade, and precious metals won’t lose their shine.
For him, consider men’s rings as an understated yet unforgettable look. They exude class, and a ring with rose gold accents will remind him of the love you share. Cufflinks are a timeless gift that he can wear again and again.
For her, consider gems that sparkle in pinks and reds. Rubies, pink topaz, and tourmaline demand attention. Amethyst, February’s birthstone, is always stunning. And perhaps no stone claims the right to romance more than the diamond. Diamond engagement rings, earrings, and necklaces are popular and timeless--who can resist?
When choosing metals, rose gold and white gold are especially suited to Valentine’s day. With romantic luster, they highlight elegant metalwork and the gemstone’s sparkle.
In the end, gifts are an expression of love. They can’t create a lasting romance--only you can do that. Love is in the details: the secrets, late nights, early mornings, and heart-to-hearts.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Zeghani. Cheers to lasting love.