Valentine’s Day Is Here!

The Meaning, Origins and How Africa Caught Up To The Day Of Love.

Love is in the air and the much-awaited moment of Valentine’s Day is here. Valentine’s Day celebrates the bond and the connection between people. It is a day that imparts to us on how we should express our love, care, and respect for anybody significant in our lives, and the color of love is red.

Valentine’s Day is considered the greatest day to express your love even if some people do not believe in the tradition. It helps us to feel cheerful about our precious ones. It also shows us the importance of the joy we feel when we are around the ones who are important to us.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 in the United States, when typically cards, gifts, candy, or flowers are exchanged between lovers and other loved ones. It is believed to be named in honor of St. Valentine, as well as possibly other martyrs named Valentine. One tradition says St. Valentine, restrained for ministering to persecuted Christians in Rome, restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer before he was executed.

America’s National Public Radio political editor Arnie Seipel also wrote about the dark origins of Valentine’s Day as a “time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.”

He also mentioned that the wild and crazy Romans from February 13 to 15, celebrated the feast of Lupercalia whereby the men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. Valentine’s Day began to be commonly renowned during the middle ages and it was commonly believed in England and France that February the 14th marked the beginning of the coupling season for birds, subsidizing to the impression that the middle of February should be known as Valentine’s Day and a day for love.

For now, because of the Covid-19 global pandemic, what needs to be done is to be creative because most usual places to go with your loved ones for Valentine’s Day are closed even though in Zimbabwe some hotels are also offering their Valentine’s Day specials under the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.

In Western culture, romantic letters have been part of Valentine’s Day since the middle ages. Poet Geoffrey Chaucer, best known for “The Canterbury Tales,” is credited with writing the first Valentine’s poem in 1385. Usually, in Africa, people receive various gifts which include flower deliveries, chocolates, teddy bears, preserved roses, champagne, and all these gifts will put your feelings on display especially if you find a way to personalize them with meaningful messages, photos, or even anecdotes inside the gifts.

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) an international body dedicated to seabird rehabilitation is also running an excessively different way to celebrate Valentine’s Day by helping support an endangered African penguin.

Instead of chocolates and flowers, some people will be doing something amazing by gifting their loved ones with adopting and naming an African penguin undergoing rehabilitation in SANCCOB’s care.

This year is different because, by this time, many musicians could have dropped singles for love songs to usher lovebirds fortunately with digital media they will be doing virtual live shows.

Zimbabwean award-winning hip-hop musician Mudiwa Mtandwa (Mudiwahood) posted on his social media page that he will celebrate his Valentine by giving gifts to some of the single female junior doctors from local hospitals as part of appreciating them.

Meanwhile, Kenya and Tanzanian top musicians will be performing Valentine’s concert named The Finest and it will be held at the Royal Gardenia Gardens in Evergreen Gardens, Kiambu in Kenya.

Due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions in Africa, if you are an indoor lover and favor staying at home but want to make Valentine’s Day memorable for your lover or partner you can have everything red at home by filling the house with red flowers such as roses as well as challenging your partner for a love dance-off.

Of course, lockdown means this valentine will look slightly changed this year mainly if you are not at the same place with your partner or important person therefore it may result in a zoom date but despite all this, if you believe in this day you have to make the most out of it.

Charmaine Brown

Charmaine Brown is 27 years old, media personnel. She studied Media and Society Studies (2017-2020) at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Charmaine had an internship at The Herald and presently is an entertainment journalist for My Afrika Magazine. She currently lives in Harare.

2 Comments

  1. A profound piece of work which clearly explained the meaning of the day of which many of us just celebrate without knowldge of its historical context.

  2. Great

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.