Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebrating Valentines' Day?



Valentine's Day, properly known as Saint Valentine's Day, is on 14th February. Although it's a Christian festival or day, nowadays it is celebrated across the world, even India! This day is usually associated with a festival of love and giving gifts to one's partner. You would think you one would appreciate their husband and wife everyday rather than one day. Perhaps we should look a little deeper at this festival....


History of Valentine's Day


There are different reasons for celebrating St. Valentine's Day which are based on different legends. Historically its a pagan festival associated with love and fertility. The first official Saint Valentine's Day was declared on 14th of February by Pope Galasius in 496, in memory of a 3rd century Christian bishop (priest) that was martyred in Rome. There have been two Christian priests with the name Valentine during the same period, who were both martyred by the Romans.

It is said that the younger bishop of the two, was arrested in 270 AD. While in jail, he is said to have converted his jailer to Christianity by healing his blind daughter's sight. When the cured girl came to see him with flowers as a gift, both of them fell in love. The bishop is said to have sent the girl a note saying “From your Valentine”. Like his earlier namesake, Bishop Valentine of Rome was martyred on 14th February.

Source: The Telegraph




Recently my dad asked someone whether they celebrate St. Valentine's Day. The Panjabi person, who is of Sikh heritage, said "Yes, I do. I buy my wife flowers on this day." My dad explained that Valentine's Day marks the martyrdom day of Saint Valentine who fell in love with a woman who came to visit him in jail. He then asked, "Do you observe the Shaheedi (martyrdom) day of Guru Arjan Dev jee or Guru Tegh Bahadar jee?" The person replied, "No." My dad replied, "So, being born in a Sikh family you observe the martyrdom and day of a Christian saint who fell in love with a woman but not those of your Gurus, who sacrificed their lives for truth and love of God, and with whose blessings we are free and alive today?"


May Guru jee guide us in walking the Guru's Path.


Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

No comments: