What is Valentines Day?
Valentines day, or “The feast of Saint Valentine” is marked on the 14th of February, and it is probably a good day to add to your diary because, simply put, this is the (official) day on which we show our loved ones that we care about them by doing or buying something special.
Although the history of Saint Valentine is shrouded in mystery (firstly because there were several Valentines and it is not certain who he was and secondly because there is much speculation even within the church about life details of any of the Valentines), it is said that Valentines day originated from a fictional story filling in the details of the romantic tragedy of Saint Valentine set in the 5th or 6th century.
St Valentine was caught and sentenced to be executed by the Romans when he meets the blind daughter of his jail warden, Julia. She is ill and he heals her. All through his time in jail he administers Christian weddings against the orders of the Caesar Claudius, and publically preaches the virtue of marital love. He hands out heart shaped parchments (pieces of cloth with religious writings on them) to remind the people of God's love – this is a probable origin for today’s well known Valentines day cards). In one version of the story which was written centuries later, he and Julia develop feelings for one another and when Valentine is being taking to execution he leaves behind a farewell letter to her signed "from your Valentine…"
Although the connection between Valentines day and the saint seems obvious today, a romantic connection was only first thought of quite a while after the real events and even then this day wasn’t very well known.
The celebration of Valentines day itself, and the reason for its popularity today, is most probably from the Roman festival of fertility celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of February. Shakespeare was the one to immortalize the romance of the day for future generations, in Hamlet, where Ophelia declares:
"To-morrow is Saint Valentins day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine".
Valentines Day Today:
And so…today, it is the custom as far as the tip of Africa, to celebrate the day with cards declaring immortal love and Valentines gifts. Originally the gifts were generally from the men to win or keep the heart of a lady, but recently the gifts, in the spirit of Ophelia flow in both directions. It has become a time set aside for fresh romance with a loved one or a breakthrough towards a future romance, by declaring "Be my Valentine". Those who have a love from a distance use this time to make their feelings public through Valentines gifts and messages.
Valentines day gifts are full of anticipation and trepidation…will your gift be accepted with enthusiasm or rejected with heartbreak? If you are already in a committed relationship then stumbling through with quantity just might do it, but if you are trying to win a heart from a distance, or show true love in your existing relationship, then it requires much more thought. For men and women (nowadays) finding the right Valentines gift can be extremely confusing and unfortunately expensive due to the bar being raised pretty high in a world where options are everywhere and everyone is sharing their most intimate details leaving you to compare and perhaps despair.
Statistically the most popular Valentines gifts in South Africa are lead by the old classic – jewelry (33%), and the new favourite – romantic travel breaks (28%). Very popular are pamper gifts, such as a spa or beauty treatment (at 7%). The remaining 12% is a variety of ideas, which are really tailor made: from braais to fashion ware to coffee machines. Lingerie is a little tacky but still popular and always a good way to get things heated up (preferably if you are in an existing relationship). Swayed by the teenage market cuddly dolls are at a whapping 20%.
Almost everyone goes out together for the evening.
All that said and done, we are here to help . So, don't be a sucker and wait until the last minute to make your plans, because with demand there comes price. So, if you are looking for Valetines day gifts that are both special and not crazy expensive, then we suggest you take a look at the deals being offered on Dealafrica.
Here are some examples of the many Valentines day gifts currently available on Dealafrica:
– A 1 night getaway for 2 including a romantic 3 course dinner with champagne, and breakfast.
– A picnic basket for 2 adults and 2 kids to treat your loved ones at a romantic wine estate including breakfast.
– Designer handbags and cosmetic pouches to show some caring or Icon men's jewelry for something personal.