February 14th - St. Valentine's Day
St. Valentine's Day is a beautiful celebration of love!
I would like to raise a glass to my beautiful couples – those, who have recently gotten married, and those who are engaged and are planning their wedding.
Let me wish you prosperity, happiness, and everlasting love!
In Russia, when I was growing up, nobody knew about Valentine's Day. I found out about the holiday from Sir Walter Scott’s novel, “The Fair Maid of Perth or St. Valentine's Day”.
The tale unfolds in 14th century Scotland, where, according to local tradition, a man in love was supposed to be the first person his beloved sees on St. Valentine’s Day. If there were several suitors, the situation became more complicated, as we sometimes see in real life.
In the novel, the main characters get together despite many dramatic events. They get married and enjoy their happily ever after.
Over the centuries, Valentine’s Day has acquired meaning and, no doubt with the help of William Shakespeare, turned into a popular and romantic holiday. Handmade love cards became a tradition as long ago as the medieval times! After all, St. Valentine was indeed the patron saint of lovers.
Slowly but surely, Valentine's Day gained popularity throughout Europe and Great Britain. “Will you be my Valentine?”, Postcards with red hearts and gourmet chocolates became favorite staples of the holiday. Soon enough, Valentine's Day arrived in the New World, The United States.
When I was living in Paris, in the early nineties, the holiday was quite popular and sweet, without the commercial frenzy which accompanies it today: numbers are mind-blowing! Valentine's day sales in 2018 reached over $ 19.6 billion in the US alone and are project to surpass $20 billion this year (https://www.statista.com/statistics/673236/us-valentine-s-day-spending/).
Despite heavy commercials and mass-marketing, many couples are not fazed by the imposed pressure. People are excited to celebrate this day and pay a special tribute to their love. It comes as no surprise that many engagements happen on Valentine's Day; the world appears to be brimming with love.
On February 14th, 2004, our youngest daughter Katrine was born! Since then, this day has become endlessly special and even more full of love and joy for us.
I wish you all a magical Valentine's Day!
Photo credits: @carlymphotography; @giannidinatale_photographers; @madelinerosephoto; @annafowlerweddings; @alexgordiasphotography; @carolinewinnphotography; @zevfisherphotography; @primaveradreams