It's the season of love and soon our social media, televisions and shop windows will be awash with hues of gentle pinks and vibrant reds. February is filled with red ribbons, hearts and loving sentiments but what does it all mean? Is this a 'couples only' thing and when did it start?
The tradition of giving gifts to the ones we love and value is not new. We celebrate lots of days around the yearly calender this way. However, the Month of February is a bit different. There are two significant dates in February which trigger our desire to show affection and they are the 13th and 14th. The 14th of February is well known and traditionally celebrated as Valentines Day. However there's a lesser known date for your diary known as Galentines Day which has a somewhat more recent history.
Let's begin with Valentines Day. Traditionally, this date has been adopted by couples, lovers and those wishing to make their affections known. It all began with the ancient Romans who celebrated the festival of Lupercalia. For them, the dates between the 13th and 15th of February signalled a festival which was apparently celebrated with lots of nakedness and bottom spanking! Back then, this festival would have been some kind of fertility rite but by the time of the early Christian Church, Valentines day had morphed into something quite different.
The Church 'hijacked' the festival, cleaned it up and re-branded it. Thanks to a bunch of Christian martyrs, who all supposedly shared the same name, 'Valentinus' and died on the same day, the date of the 14th became synonymous with Valentines day.
Jump forward in time to 1382, and a chap named Chaucer celebrated the engagement of the 15 year-old King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia via a poem, in which he wrote: For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird (fowl) cometh to choose his mate.This was to cement the association of Valentines day with 'love birds' and romantic love.
William Shakespeare succumbed to the notion of this romantic day in Ophelia’s lament in Hamlet: To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. It would appear that by this time, England had fully embraced the tradition of passing love notes to sweet Valentines.
Today, Valentines Day is associated with the annonymously sent card and the sending of gifts. Valentines Day has not remained totally unchanged however. This special day has continued to morph throuought it's history becoming a day to celebrate not only romantic relationships but all relationships. You can now send a Valentine to a friend, to your Mum or even yourself as a part of your self-love wellbeing routine. This brings us to the birth of Galentine's Day! What the heck is Galentine's Day you ask? Well, it's a special day dedicated to celebrated frienships. It's a day to acknowledge your support network or any relationship that is valued.
Galentine's Day became 'a thing' thanks to an American sitcom named 'Parks and Recreation'. You won't find it marked upon any calender becuase it isn't an 'official' holiday. Celebrated on the day before Valentines, Galentines on the 13th February has become a day to celebrate your 'galpals' whether they are in a relationship or not. It's a day to say "thank you for being there" and a way to show gratitude for the caring kindness and love shown by supporting friends and associates.
"Love is all around" in the month of February, who will you show your appreciation and affection to? This isn't just a time for romance, it's also a time of gratitude and this blog post is dedicated to everyone who has supported Air Plant Crafts, to the airplant loving community and plant fans everywhere.
If your looking for the perfect gift this Valentines or Galentine's Day, check out our Bespoke and Seasonal Gifts section in our shop. If you would like to give an airplant, living gift to someone, we have plenty of designs available through our shop and we have 'Starter Kits' for those new to plants. What better way to acknowledge that special someone than to give them a gift that grows and blooms with your relationship. We have a wide array of airplant designs and airplants for sale in our shop.