Celebrating Love and Friendship

The Unique Charm of Valentine’s Day

 

Valentine’s Day, celebrated worldwide on February 14th, holds a special place in the hearts of many. It’s a day marked by expressions of love, affection, and heartfelt gestures. However, in countries like Finland and Estonia, Valentine’s Day takes on a slightly different persona, known affectionately as “Friends Day.” This unique perspective broadens the day’s appeal, transforming it into a celebration of platonic love and the bonds of friendship that enrich our lives.

The concept of Friends Day is a testament to the inclusive nature of Finnish and Estonian cultures, emphasizing the importance of cherishing all forms of love. It’s a day when people take the opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation not only to their romantic partners but also to their friends who stand by them through thick and thin. This tradition serves as a reminder that love transcends romantic relationships, encompassing the deep connections we share with our friends.

Celebrating Friends Day encourages everyone to reach out to those they care about, making it known that their friendship is valued. It’s a perfect time for small gestures of appreciation, heartfelt notes, and spending quality time together. This approach to Valentine’s Day enriches the experience, ensuring that everyone can feel included, regardless of their relationship status.

In essence, Valentine’s Day, or Friends Day as it’s known in Finland and Estonia, is a celebration of love in its many forms. It’s a day that reminds us of the importance of connections, be they romantic or platonic. It’s a time to honor those special bonds that make life truly meaningful.

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day – history

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This day is also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feat of Saint Valentine. Or like our friends in Finland: Day of friends/friendship. This day is celebrated annually on february 14th. It is recognized in many countries as significant day of celebration.

 

Symbols

The symbols that are used today include the heart, doves and the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, it has become more and more commercial and huge amounts of greeting cards (Valentines) are produced every year. Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday in any country at the moment.

 

History

Valentine’s Day first became popular in the middle ages, when traditions of love became more and popular and it has been celebrated ever since. There is some doubt who was the first Valentine, since there is no less than three Saint Valentines in the books of history.

The first written Valentine note was believed to be by Charles of the Duke of Orleans in 1415 who sent a love letter to his wife. He wrote this letter while imprisoned in the Tower of London, and it reads “I am already sick from love, my very gentle Valentine”. This letter still exists in the British Library collection.

Perhaps the most famous Valentine’s poem is this one published in Gammer Gurton’s Garland, a 1784 collection of English rhymes:

 

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

 

Commercialism and friends

Today the Valentine’s Day is much more commercial, billions of euros are spent on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts each year arounf the world.

On the late 1980’s Finland started to celebrating “Friendship Day” Ystävänpäivä. It has been in the official calendars since 1996.  Groups of friends celebrate the day over brunches and dinners all over the country. Sports and other social activities are also popular.

Friends are forever. 🙂

 

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