Now that the season of love is over, does the love and show of love or affection end? I certainly hope not. I just love love, the idea of love, and being in love. This year I decided to do a bit of research about Valentine’s Day. A day that is celebrated with expensive flowers, candy, jewelry, and all different kinds of material tokens to show ones’ appreciation and love. What I realized is, men seem to be left out the is adoration. Don’t men deserve flowers, candy, and jewelry? How did Valentine’s Day become about the women? Aren’t women obligated to show love for their man? Also shouldn’t men and women receive love and acts of love all year round? Seems Valentine’s Day is truly a commercial holiday and not really focused on love. Something is just not right about this love holiday.
In my research, I found the ancient Ancient Romans celebrated from February 13th to February 15th, the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them. They believed this would make them fertile. The brutal celebration included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The two would then be, coupled up for the duration of the festival or longer. The festival did evolve into a more civilized and loving celebration today known as Valentine’s Day. I’m guessing this is why Valentine’s day is so focused on the women and not the men. It’s a way of giving back to the women who suffered the horrible treatment during the festival.
I encountered another Holiday about love which was founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy-Kendi, founder/director of the African American Holiday Association called, “BLACK LOVE DAY” (BLD). I found this holiday interesting. I like the concept of observance, atonement, reconciliation, celebration and 24-hour demonstration of Black Love, showing five tenets. Those five tenets are, love towards the Creator, for Self, for the Family, for the Black Community, and for the Black Race.
For many years I celebrated Valentine’s Day never feeling quite right with it. Knowing the Ancient Roman history surrounding this holiday it is understandable why I was never comfortable with the holiday. From this day forward I will celebrate BLD instead of Valentine’s day. I prefer the focus on the five tenants versus the focus on the material things. Valentine’s Day leads one to think if there is no significant other there is no love for you and we all know that is not the case. Our creator wants us to love one another. BLD can be celebrated by every one black, white, brown, red, or yellow it does not matter. The 5 tenants can work for any race. In all that you do show love, be loving and respect one another.
Love is universal!