Valentine’s Day – myth or reality?

SONGSOPTOK: Valentine’s Day has become one of the major festivals these days, comparable to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Id, Rosh Hashanah or Chanukah and observed by men and women irrespective of religion. Do you agree? How important is it in the country you live in??

EFTICHIA:  Perhaps abroad in other countries is the widespread celebration of Valentine's  day   ie “of love” but  I live in Greece and the Orthodox religion Valentine’s Day  celebrated restricted

SONGSOPTOK: There are several different views about the history and origin of Valentine’s Day. Which is the version you know about?

EFTICHIA: The February 14 is the day that celebrates Saint Valentine and has established itself as the day of love, since according to popular tradition, this saint is the patron of couples. But who was actually St. Valentine?... First, something that most people do not know is that February 14th is actually the day he died, Saint Valentine on Via Flaminia north of Rome. Little is known about the life of Saint Martyr Valentine, while it is not clear if this is a person or two different saints with the same name. Because of the confusing information, no mention in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar and the Orthodox Church has never admitted it, while the Catholic church demoted the celebration of a simple local feast. According to the dominant legend, Valentine was a priest who lived in the 3rd century and hidden by the emperor Claudius the Goth (then in power), love marry Christian couples and generally help the Christians, which was considered a crime. Arrested for his act was jailed, but the emperor initially decided to pardon until Valentinus tried to introduce Christianity and the emperor sentenced him to death by stoning. However Valentinus survived the stoning, so the beheaded outside the gate of the Flaminia on February 14 of 169. Another legend, however, says that Valentine was a former bishop of Terni, a city in southern Umbria (so called then Central Italy) and was placed under house arrest when the judge Asterios, questioning the validity of the Christian religion put him in a test. He presented his blind adoptive daughter and said that if we do find the light will have to ask. Indeed he restored the sight of his daughter and the judge humiliated asked what he wants to do .....Saint Valentine told him to break within three days all pagan statues have and then be baptized. The judge did and then baptized his whole family, however, the shift to the large court did not like Emperor Claudius, who arrested Valentine and the outcome and this legend is exactly the same as the previous.The importance of today is Valentine's Day acquired it in the 14th century, which was associated with the concept of fair love and the first written mention of a saint to found in 1382 in the poem The Parliament of Birds (Parlement of Foules) of Geoffrey Chaucer. Today Valentine's Day is an official holiday in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, however, Saint Valentine Elder celebrated on July 6 and the Martyr St. Valentine (Bishop of Terni), celebrated on July 30. However, due to the general uncertainty of the life of this saint, established the Valentine or Valentine name be celebrated on February 14, the most prevalent as the day of death of this saint and decorated with flowers relic Valentine exposed to the basilica Saint Mary in Cosmedin in Rome.

SONGSOPTOK: Why do you think Valentine’s Day has become so important all over the world irrespective of the political, social and religious dimensions? Do you think that the anxiety and stress related to modern day relationships have contributed to its growing popularity all over the world?

EFTICHIA:  No specific information about the Saint Valentine however represents love. YES I agree to the stress and the stress in today's society. The "youth" need love, pure love that while concepts are spiritual and Divine seeks the personal touch of the Holy of eros. But in my own opinion is still a global business

SONGSOPTOK: Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? In what way? If you don’t, will you please explain why not?

EFTICHIA: The day of St. Valentine presupposes memory ..Nowadays that everyday we have many problems are difficult to "remember" and offer you a flower (the most simple symbol of this holiday) This does not mean that it can not be loving in all over the rest of the year.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you feel obliged to do something special for your spouse/partner on Valentine’s Day or it is similar to and as natural as celebrating birthdays and anniversaries? In other words, is there any peer pressure to conform to the traditions associated with the modern version of Valentine’s Day?

EFTICHIA:  Personally I think not The Valentine's Day is not only for lovers but generally about love ...... might need every day to tell our own people with deeds that we love them

SONGSOPTOK: According to you what, if anything, is special about Valentine’s Day? Does it play an important role in romantic relationships? Why? Is it important for you to surprise your partner on Valentine’s Day? What would be your preferred way?

If I was definitely in love would like a gift
But self and our days will be surprised
The love is not based on a festivity

SONGSOPTOK: Do you buy gifts on Valentine’s Day? What type of gifts do you normally buy? Do you think it is important to follow the norm and go for the traditional gifts like flowers, chocolates, cards, perfumes etc.? Please share your motivations or lack of them with us?

EFTICHIA: There are very nice gifts in the shops to express your love to those who love ........... and I think that 'captures' the gentle love of others ........... If I was in love ............... maybe buy something for the people who are near me every day that I would not do it this day would do it every day

SONGSOPTOK: Marketing Gurus often dub Hallmark as the official sponsor of Valentine’s Day in the USA. Do you have any equivalent in your own country? Do big consumer good companies carry out an aggressive promotion campaign for Valentine’s Day? What are their preferred channels? Do social media play an important role in this respect in your country of residence?

EFTICHIA:  NO in Greece No sponsorship. In Greece Western St Valentine entered our life in the '80s, as the patron of lovers, with many business stakeholders have prepared a well organized celebration commercialization industry. This day is considered as one of the most profitable for florists, restaurants, hotels, gift shops, etc. And the view of the media is great. Entrepreneurs prepared long ago and so far have made huge turnovers.

The Orthodox Church has brought many objections and took tough attitude to this celebration, making efforts to establish the orthodox version of the celebration of love for believers of orthodoxy. Corresponding saints in Greek Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar is the Holy Love (June 25), for which there is a song with the same title, which has interpreted Pantelis Thalassinos, Saints Aquila and Priscilla (February 13) and St Hyacinth (July 3) and he patron of love and affection, and he martyred for his faith at a young age, two centuries before Valentino. The first temple built dedicated exclusively to the one found in Anogia of Crete, in one of the slopes of Psiloritis, made of stone, hidden, it is secretly and feelings! Eventually the efforts found no response so the Orthodox Greeks still remember and celebrate the Catholic Saint Valentine.

The feast of St. Valentine has been criticized a lot for the speculative nature and the commercialization of what is.

SONGSOPTOK: What are the popular customs related to Valentine’s Day in the country you live in? What do you think about them? Do you think that men and women actually enjoy and look forward to 14th February or is it just a matter of keeping up with the Jones’??

EFTICHIA: I think that women are more prone to this feast and perhaps seek to celebrate since usually women remind men that today is the day of love The most simple and sincere gift is a flower, yet very few people are truly in their relations and "ignorance" and perhaps that's why festivity remains only commercial

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that there is actually a social stigma for single, unattached people who do not celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you think that the Valentine Day extravaganza may have a negative impact on their psyche, moral and ultimately their well-beings? What is your own experiences? Would you please share it with us?

EFTICHIA: There are the religious, social and economic criteria and there is  no social stigma simply they consider the luxury to engage others because you do have money, "others because it is a celebration" pagan "because others are not interested as a festivity

On this planet earth there is love. Apart from spiritual love there is the "commercial", which corresponds to 99% when  become the demystification of love suddenly one finds in empty and there enters the commerce of love.  Love, is itself feast celebrated throughout the year. It is still an opportunity to get close to our soul, the true, undistorted our human nature does not need Valentine

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope to have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen



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