What do you know about Valentine's Day?

I wrote the valentine article exactly 12 months ago last year for my predecessor site on spaces.msn.com and prepared it sometime last week to republish it today. I didn't realise the Friday sermon would come first. The Imams are technically correct that Valentine's Day is named after St. Valentine. However even then, Valentine's Day was named to replace an even older pagan festival. Anyway, I thought I will republish the posting that I wrote last year as I am pretty sure not many people have read it as then the readership consisted only of me and my better half.

In most parts of the world, today is Valentine's Day. It has been estimated that throughout the world, approximately one billion valentine cards are sent during Valentine's Day, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas; and that 85 percent of all cards are purchased by women!

Did you know that Valentine's Day began as a pagan festival? The Romans then engaged in an annual fertility rite in honour of one of their many gods named Lupercus where the names of young women were placed in a box and drawn by adolescent men. The resulting random matches became 'companions' for the following year. The Catholic Church tried to end this pagan rite and selected a martyred Saint Valentine to replace Lupercus. (An Italian priest named Valentine was said to be imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Claudius II for secretly joining young lovers in matrimony). Over time, the Lupercian lottery was replaced with the custom of Roman men offering women their admired hand-written greetings of affection on February 14.

Several other versions depending on sources said that Valentine's Day was established to abolish another European heathen village custom of boys drawing the names of girls on the 15th of the month in honor of the goddess Februata Juno; and another claimed that sending greetings to loved ones on Feb. 14 dates to the middle ages when it was believed that this day marked the beginning of the mating season for birds. So if you are celebrating Valentine's Day, it can be said that you are either commemorating some ancient gods or emulating the birds!

With the commercialisation of the celebration, Valentine’s Day has become an institutionalised guilt trip for both men and women. But why would you need a special day to recognise your loved ones?


Zul-Fadly said…
A day to celebrate love. If it was called 'World Love Day' like 'World AIDS Day', I think it would be alright.

But is it a sin to greet another 'Happy Valentine's Day'? It is just a greeting and no intention of spreading the 'LOVE'.

No point in blaming the media and its influence on its viewers are eminent. Promotions about V-Day is everywhere. Even in our papers.

So again, people are in a dilemma. But I personally think everyone whould at least be greeted or have greeted someone Happy Valentine's Day in their life because it is a global culture.

So here is to you Mr BR, 'Happy Valentine's Day' and to everyone else
Anonymous said…
I rather have valentine's day every day, why only have one day? So that the rest of the time you can be an a** and then when feb 14th rolls along you're forgiven for the way you behaved for the other times of the year just cos you remember this one day of the year? So not on.

I choose to have peace and love, good things and stuff for the rest of the time, not just on one day on the calander.
Anonymous said…
For the above 2 comments - I think both of you didn't hear what the khutbah was all about last week? or may be pura2 inda faham kali... Who you want to follow kalau Imam sudah becakap miatu, kan dilawan lagi. Bukankah tugas Imam untuk menyedarkan atau mengingati kepada hamba2 yang lupa diri oleh arus perkembangan duniawi yang penoh dengan pancaroba. Mana-mana muslim yang mengakui dirinya muslim dan telah terpesong dari landasan Islam, tolonglah balik ke pangkal jalan sebelum terlambat coz GOD can take us anytime HE likes. Are we all prepared? If 20 years ago, we may be ignorant about all dos and donts in Islam, BUT nowadays, we can listen to the radio 24 hours, read books and surf the net if you really want to mendalami tentang Islam. Its pretty clear that its HARAM for any muslim to say let alone celebrate valentine - did you all not get it? As the Imam said LOVE has a wide and deep meaning which is called 'true love' and I guess if you just love someone because she/he is going to be your wife or husband, thats natural love and once either one of them died, I am sure you will look for replacement in no time especially guys? So, what kind of love is that? Still want to declare 'World Love Day' at so called during your valentine?
Anonymous said…
It is also haram for women to show their hair/s to men who are not a family member, haram for a man to touch a woman's skin(also non family member) and vice versa..etc etc.. So why not just radicalize Brunei or are we just just implementing 'haram' on certain issues?
Anonymous said…
I always here the "why does it have to be one day? why can't it be every day?" argument, not only for Valentine's Day but for Father's or Mother's Day as well.

To that I say, I do treat my parents and my wife with such love every day of the year. But once in a while, I like to do more than usual, you know. Make it extra special. Okay it doesn't have to be on those specific days, but sometimes you're so preoccupied with work, it's these days that make you stop, and think, and make you remember.

And you know how sometimes people need to be reminded how much valued they are. Reassurance is nice.

The same argument can be made about birthdays. Why celebrate one's existence on just one day of the 365?

To me, I think it's all down to the niat. Whether you do it because you truly want to do it, or whether you're just blindly immitating others.

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