by Maureen Mugerwa
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you. It’s about that time for cheesy lover lines, chocolate hearts and flowers.
For some, Valentine's Day is a way to show the ones you care about that they are loved. For others, it is just another day to spend money on things that will be thrown away in an instant.
The history of Valentine's Day is a mystery. There are three different saints recognized by the Catholic Church named Valentine or Valentinus. One legend states that Valentine was a priest who served during third-century Rome. When the Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than married men with families, he declared it illegal for young man to get married.
When Valentine realized how unfair this was, he went against Claudius and continued performing marriages for those young men, in secret. When Claudius found out he ordered Valentine be put to death. There are other stories suggesting Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. There are many other legends, all depicting Valentine as a romantic figure.
By the 18th century it was common for many people to exchange small presents and letters to show their affection.
Andrew Van Os is looking forward to Valentine's Day. “I think that it’s changing in the fact that people who are single on Valentine's day make it a joke but when you actually have somebody for your valentines, that’s when it’s actually serious,” said Van Os, a member of the Business Students Society at the U of R.
The Business Students Society is putting on Kiss & Tell, a Valentines Day Cabaret at The Lazy Owl on Feb. 8. Prizes from Industrial Luv will be given away. Tickets are $5.
If you are looking for chocolate for that special someone, Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut is a popular place. Owner David Loblaw said his chocolates are in demand "because there are no preservatives and no chemicals. They’re made with all natural ingredients, fresh creams and a lot of organic products in it. They are handmade.”
He said pre-order customers are always 99 per cent women but 99 per cent of purchases from Feb. 13 on are by men. And those men are usually in a panic, Loblaw said.
Loblaw encourages customers to pre-order because the store runs out of its heart chocolates and cupids quickly. “We tell those men that are coming in on the 14th to not make eye contact with any of the men (standing in line) because they are going to be glaring at you. Walk in the shop, put your head down, say your name, grab your product and get out of there,” said Loblaw with a laugh.