Creolization Assignment

Creolization of Valentine’s Day

                Today many people around the globe celebrate Valentine’s Day as a holiday to express love and affection. February 14th is a day to send flowers, write poems, and exchange gifts with your significant other. Valentine’s day which is a holiday originated in Rome in about 270 A.D. has been creaolized and is now practiced in so many other countries around the world. Creolization is the mixture of cultural practices, ideas and tradition with other parts of the globe. This essay will discuss how the celebration of how Valentine’s Day began, and the creolization of this holiday from Rome to America to other small countries such as Bangladesh.

Many people celebrate Valentine’s Day without knowing the history and origin of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is actually the celebration of the death of a Roman martyr named St. Valentine. In about 270 A.D. a priest named St.Valentine used to secretly perform marriage ceremonies for young soldiers. The reason St.Valentine had to perform this practice in secret was because the ruler had forbidden this act. The ruler, Claudius believed that a marriage makes young soldiers weak at heart and not ready to battle. Eventually St. Valentine secret was uncovered and he was sentenced to jail. In jail he healed a woman’s eye sight and began to grow love and affection for her. Claudius attempted to convert the priest into a pagan but St. Valentine refused and was sentenced to execution.  Upon execution on February 14, 270 A.D., St. Valentines wrote a note to the women “from your Valentine” which is a phrase that captures the essence of Valentine’s Day.

Although Valentine’s Day began in Rome, its religious significance has spread this holiday to other parts of the world. By the fourteenth and fifteenth century it had spread to Great Britain and France.  The French and English also believed that birds began to mate on February 14th. Poets emphasized the meaning of this holiday by drawing a connection between the mating birds and St. Valentine’s Day. Unmarried girls use to wake up and sit by their window still believing that the first man they see on Valentine’s Day will be married to them within that year.

                In the nineteenth century Valentine’s Day was introduced to America by the British Settlers. In the twentieth century common practices of Valentine’s Day in the United States were, giving roses, chocolates, and cards and exchanging gifts. According to Greeting Card Association, Valentines Day cards are the second largest card selling holiday. Valentine’s Day has become a commercialized holiday, which helped it spread to other non modernized countries such as Bangladesh. Investors, such as businessmen and hotel owners saw an opportunity to gain profits by supporting the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Bangladesh. Today Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Bangladesh by giving flowers and gifts and of course dining out. This custom, which started in Rome has been creolized and is now celebrated in many other countries around the globe.

References:

http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

http://www.stvalentinesday.org/valentines-day-in-britain.html

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4 Responses to “Creolization Assignment”

  1. I had a strong idea that Valentines Day originate overseas. I was sitting in on an AP U.S. History class at the high school I student teach in and one girl explained the entire story of St. Valentine. She had learned about him in Catholic school. Apparently he was inlove with children but who knows. I think the holiday is taken way to seriously here in the states. Sure it’s pretty and makes someone feel special, but we are quick to forget about the history and why it was actually created.

  2. sharonak says:

    Being Jewish I really had no idea where Valentines Day came from but I always thought it had more meaning. To me Valentines Day doesn’t just have to be about being with your significant other. I feel like it can also be about showing your family and friends how much they mean to you as well.

  3. lisaaugstein says:

    Valentine’s Day to many has become a holiday with great meaning. Stores and shops sell many valentine related things, filling the aisles with candy and chocolates. I think it is amazing how such a holiday has become so mainstream, and how much money is being made off of lovestruck young lovers. I believe we should acknowledge our loved ones on this day and be grateful that we have them, but at the same time I feel that the holiday should mean more than gifts and presents (though many females expect large and expensive gifts from their lovers on this day).

  4. jasmina786 says:

    I agree with Sharonak that Valentines day should be a holiday that you share your love with family members, friends or anyone who seems special and important to you. I know a friend of mine who uses that special day with her husband and daughter. They dress up and go out for that day. It is sweet how my friends husband would give his daughter a rose and makes her feel very special. Although Valentines day is not specified something that is part of their religon but they do this holiday because it is part of the country they live in. I asked the father why do you share this holiday with you daughter. He told me I want to be a role model in case she finds a man one day who can deliver what I deliver. It is nice to see him try to make it a family holiday. It is also amazing how many other countries do Valentines differently, but share the same concept that it is the day of love. Valentines day is also a holiday that incorporates high business and profits.