Happy Valentine’s Day

2016-02-10 06:00

THROUGHOUT the world on Sunday, Valentine’s Day, millions of rands, dollars, euros, pounds etc., will be spent on what has been hyped up to be “a day to express love” - declared or not.

In South Africa, like most of the Western world countries, expensive cards, gifts and red roses are bought, candlelight dinners planned and other romantic gestures are done to express love.

But in other countries things are different.

In Japan, on this day, the women present gifts to the men to express either their love, courtesy or social obligations.

The gift of chocolates takes place on a huge scale and the different types signify different relationships. To bosses, colleagues or just friends a woman may gift “girl-choko”; one step down is “cho-girl choko”, a cheaper chocolate referred to as ultra-obligatory for people a woman is not particularly fond of but feels obliged to give something.

At the other end of the scale for boyfriends, lovers and husbands, homemade chocolates are the most special.

Commercially astute, the Japanese came up with reply day for the men - 14 March is known as “White Day” on which men can reciprocate their chocolates with not only the same, but jewellery, lingerie, perfumes etc.

The name White Day is said to have been chosen as it signifies purity and white chocolates are the most popular as gifts.

In South Korea, the same applies but they have taken it one step further with “black day” on 14 April, when single people who did not receive a gift on Valentine’s or White Day get together for a dinner - some say as a celebration of single life and others say as consolation or mourning for being single.

Another Valentine’s Day with a difference was in 1929 in Chicago, U.S., when four men disguised as police raided the gangster Bugs Moran's premises, lined up seven of his gang against a wall and shot them.

It became known as the St Valentine's Day massacre, related to an ongoing feud between the career gangsters Bugs Moran and Al Capone, both of whom were supplying vast amounts of illicit alcohol during Prohibition in America.

Various legends are around as to its origin.

Some 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Romans still insisted everyone worship the Roman gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, was imprisoned and beheaded on 14 February not only for his beliefs, but because it was claimed that he had cured the jailer's daughter, of blindness - writing her a letter signed, “your Valentine”.

Another Valentine was a bishop in Italy who was said to marry couples secretly because the Roman emperor forbade any soldier from marrying.

Urban legends:

• First man an unmarried woman saw on 14 February would be her future husband.

• If a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow she would marry a poor man and be very happy. And if she saw a goldfinch she sould marry a rich person.

• If the names of all a girl’s boyfriends were written on paper and wrapped in clay and then put in water, the piece that rose to the surface first would contain the name of her husband to be.

Happy Valentine's Day.

IF A WOMAN SAW A ROBIN FLYING OVERHEAD ON
VALENTINE’S DAY, IT MEANT SHE WOULD MARRY A SAILOR. IF SHE SAW A SPARROW SHE WOULD MARRY A POOR MAN AND BE VERY HAPPY.
AND IF SHE SAW A GOLDFINCH SHE
SHOULD MARRY A RICH PERSON

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