Valentine's Day is almost here and you still don't know what to put on? Luckily, there is one more weekend for your last minute shopping. I know its hard to pick what to wear, but as it may turn out, having your own version of valentines may save you the trouble.
The Romans have their version, the Japanese have theirs so are other oriental cultures. For the Chinese, a couple may not celebrate with candy and flowers; the entire day is devoted to love. Qi Qiao Jie (Chinese Valentine's Day) falls on the 7th day of the Chinese 7th lunar month, which is usually around August. People in love and the singles go to the temple of Matchmaker in Taipei to pray for their love and possible marriage.
Although history has held us ransom on many issues before, the question of Valentine remains elusive. Several centuries after it became popular, there is no agreement on its origin. Some experts say that it originated from St. Valentine, (a Roman martyred for being a Christian on February 14, 269 A.D) who left a farewell note for his jailer's daughter, reading "From Your Valentine". Another source carries the very interesting story about Cupid, the god of love and his Bride, Psyche in Roman mythology. Cupid is described as a winged child, armed with bow and arrows that he shoots to pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love.
Besides its controversies, Valentines Day is celebrated across religions, races and nations. The common features that dominate the day in any version of the celebration include the red color and off course the roses.
For those who prefer giving roses, it is good to adhere to a standard formula that takes into account rose-color meanings. The formula matches a rose color to its intended meaning as a gift. Being a lovers' holiday, red roses traditionally come to fore. Apart from lovers, close family members may also be treated to red roses for Valentine's Day. However, it is reasonable to avoid giving roses of this color to friends on this day it may convey the unintended or wrong meaning.
The symbolic meanings traditionally attached to the most popular roses, according to colors are; Red roses for romantic love; purple roses signify that the giver has fallen in love with the recipient at first sight; orange roses are a signal of desire; yellow roses stand for joy and friendship while gratitude and appreciation can be expressed with pink roses. The purity of white roses elicits reverence and humility.
Since it is a day filled with emotions, dressing flirty and casual is the trick here. If you can manage a red spot on any of your outfits, it may just serve you well. Search in your closet for any outfits that are a bit dressy as well as a bit expressional. For women, this may mean looking for something that is lacy or frilly. For men, a simple button-up shirt with some casual trousers will do.
On many occasions, the day may be celebrated through various arrangements, which may require specific dressing codes; from dinner parties, beach walks, weeklong holidays and so on. Your choice of dress will largely depend on these factors. Whether your version of the day is Chinese, Brazilian, Rwandese or Algerian, the options on how to express your love are as wide as your creativity can go.
Get rid of your notions about the holiday and try out new tricks on this years Valentines Day. Your long awaited love might just be a notion away.
By Antony Odeo
Mr. Odeo is an African Executive Staff Writer
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