Happy Valentine’s Day!

Feb 14, 2013 | Miscellaneous

We have every reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day here at First Edition with not one but two Valentine babies between us – not that either of them are babies any more! But we love Valentine’s Day which is, of course, celebrated across the world, although many countries seem to have just followed the Western commercial example.

Valentine’s Day is thought to have become the day of romance it is today in the high middle ages time of Chaucer, amid the fashion for courtly love. By the 15th Century, the flowers, chocs and cards had made an appearance and in the 20th century the hand-made cards gave way to mass production and now you can buy just about anything Valentine – from children’s clothes to cupcakes and everything in between.

Although many countries have a tradition similar to Valentine’s Day, they are often at different times of the year or more of a friend than a romantic thing. But the card and flower companies are determined to change that! In Japan, for instance, the holiday was first introduced in the 1930s by a confectionary company, promoting their gifts of heart-shaped chocolates. The “tradition” eventually dictated that women gave men chocolates on the 14th February, but this is thought to have come about because of a translation error during the intial campaigns! In the 1980s, so the women wouldn’t feel left out (and not, of course, just to sell more chocolates), the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association launched a reply day on 14th March, now called White Day, where men are expected to return the favour. There seems to be a whole host of deeper meaning and significance around this development (most of it financial!) but you can click here (scroll down to Japan) if you want to read about that!

In South Korea, they went a step further with the introduction of Black Day on 14th April. This is when all the people who didn’t get anything in February or March go and eat black noodles to mourn (or celebrate?) their single life. You couldn’t make it up.

Anyway, I’ll end on a small piece of personal advice, from someone who was stupid enough to produce a child on Valentine’s Day. Don’t try to pop to Tesco’s on your way home for a pint of milk or a birthday cake (oops), it’ll be full of (usually) men in a last minute rush on flowers and choccies and you won’t even get into the car park.

 

image: © Neil Mey | Dreamstime.com