As we move steadily toward February 14th, the commercial behemoth which is Valentine's Day & Co. is busily cranking out the obligatory floral bouquets, chocolates, greeting cards, and fuzzy-heart pillows which are required purchasing for this most arbitrary of holidays. Dan Zaljubljenih d.o.o. is a relatively foreign thing in Serbia, and only relatively observed, but Big Advertising is still using it as much as they can.
This is one of the largest shopping holidays we have. Christmas, the unbeatable number one, is already two months past and we are already itching to go buy more presents for Valentine's. Money, they tell us, will buy you love on February 14.
But what of all the other myriad holidays and observances which we have every single day around the world? For example, today, February 11, is Armed Forces Day in Liberia. It is also Kenkokukinen no Hi (or National Foundation Day) in Japan, Youth Day in Cameroon, and the Anniversary of Lateranensi Pacts in Vatican City.
Did you buy your commemorative snow globe celebrating the day when the pope had to renounce his temporal powers in 1929 by the Lateranensi Pacts? Hurry! Time is running out!
Today is also Be Electrific Day (in honor of Thomas Edison's birthday), Pro Sports Wives Day, National Shut-In Visitation Day, Satisfied Staying Single Day, and White Shirt Day.
But none of these days can hold a heart-shaped candle to Valentine's. We don't even see them come and go. This is especially true for Satisfied Staying Single Day, conspicuously celebrated only three days before the Day of Love.
Valentine's Day has been around as the day of romance and romantic love since the 14th century. And every year since it has been adding to the coffers of florists and confectioners. There was apparently a St. Valentine who was buried on Via Flaminia in Rome on February 14, but the Catholic Church defrocked him and his holiday in 1969, saying, in effect, "We don't know this guy."
With or without a saint to back them up, the wheels of Valentine's commerce keep on turning. This year, for a change, why don't we go out and celebrate Ferris Wheel Day on February 14?
We could use the left over cake sets from Kenkokukinen no Hi ....