Sunday, February 3, 2013

St.Valentine, St. Tryphon, or Valentine's Day and Friendship Day?

Valentine's Day is really an ancient holiday - On February 15, Romans celebrated Luperaclia, honoring Faunus, god of fertility. Men would go to a grotto dedicated to Lupercal, the wolf god, located at the foot of Palatine Hill and where Romans believed that the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were suckled by a she-wolf. The men would sacrifice a goat, don its skin, and run around, hitting women with small whips, an act which was supposed to ensure fertility. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan.
According to one story, Roman emperor Claudius II imposed a ban on marriages because too many young men were dodging the draft by getting married (only single men had to enter the army). A Christian priest named Valentinus was caught performing secret marriages and sentenced to death. While awaiting execution, young lovers visited him with notes about how much better love is than war — the first “valentines.” The execution occurred in 269 CE on February 14th.

In 469, emperor Gelasius declared February 14th a holy day in honor of Valentinus instead of the pagan god Lupercus. This allowed Christianity to take over some of the celebrations of love and fertility which had perviously occurred in the context of paganism. Pagan celebrations were reworked to fit the martyr theme — Christianity did not approve of rituals that encouraged sexuality. Instead of pulling girls’ names from boxes, both boys and girls chose the names of martyred saints from a box.
Valentine’s Day is no longer part of the official liturgical calendar of any Christian church; it was dropped from the Catholic calendar in 1969.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Tryphon is celebrated on February 14. St. Tryphon’s day is celebrated mainly in the Balkans as a public holiday and is a custom that celebrates the ancient belief of connecting people and spirits of the earth. Today people are encouraged to visit vineyards and symbolically cut one piece off the vines and then pour the wine on the sacrificed part. It is believed that this custom will bring a year rich with the grapes and that St.Tryphon, who is the saint guardian of wine, will appreciate the offering and deliver another successful harvest. People are encouraged to offer copious amounts of wine to drink and celebrate life and the new coming season.
Early in the morning people go to church to baptise a Tryphon water to put in a bottle. With this water they splash the vineyard and the field for luck. The priest splash the branch with the holywater and cut out three branches and says "God give a blessing", three cut branch put under the wine and brandy.

Valentine’s Day is not a feast, a celebration, or a memorial of any martyrs. A return to more pagan-like celebrations of February 14th is not surprising — and neither is the overall commercialization of the day. Millions of people all over the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in one fashion or another, but it’s unlikely that even one of them celebrates it in an even remotely religious manner. Today, capitalist commercialism is the biggest aspect of Valentine’s Day. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on chocolate, candies, flowers, dinners, hotel rooms, jewelry, and other gifts used to celebrate February 14th. There’s a lot of money to be made from people’s desire to commemorate the day.

But, we all need to be cherished. And despite our good intentions, most of us don't tell our spouses, children, or other loved ones often enough just how precious they are to us. If we can resist the commercialization, Valentines Day can be a wonderful opportunity to remind all of our loved ones (not only our sweethearts) how glad we are that they're in our lives.

Some ideas to celebrate Valentines Day:

1. At dinner, go around the table and give each person a chance to give an appreciation to every other family member. They don't have to be earth-shaking to strengthen relationships and fill our cups, : "I appreciate Eli for helping me with my homework....I appreciate Mom for spending special time with me at bedtime....I appreciate Dad for always being cheerful....I appreciate myself for getting out of the house on time in the morning."

2. Make the mood festive with a short family dance party. Don't forget the romantic slow dance for the parents! After the dancing, eat with candles on the table.

3. Want gift ideas? Valentines Gifts are NEVER about the item or product. That teaches all the wrong lessons about love. Make this about the heart to heart expressions that build intimacy and connection:
*A Letter of Appreciation.
*Homemade Valentines.
*A gift certificate for a massage and snuggle every night for a month.

4. If you buy a gift, choose it using the GIFT test: does it create more Gratitude, Intimacy, Fondness and Trust between you, or does it just impress? In other words, a bottle of inexpensive champagne, some sandwiches, and an invitation to a picnic supper in bed after the kids are asleep meets this test a lot better than jewelry or candy.

My child: Red pencil
My child: A child's position in the family
My child: Reading is really important!
My child: Bill Gates warns: Protect Our Children
My child: Research shows: Parents lie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your desparaging comments and mindless attempts at fact are shameful.

Valentine's day is named after SAINT Valentine, every Catholic in the United States celebrates it as a Religious Holiday, as a FEAST of a MARTYR.


God Save and Educate you.