CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY, EMBODYING THE CULTURE OF TAMIL MATRIMONY


When you hear of February 14, one celebration comes into everyone’s mind – Valentine’s Day. This is that time of the year when LOVE is expressed so well in different ways. Chocolates and flowers are everywhere, and couples flock like there is no other day. True that this moment is a time of love and togetherness, but what is it for you then?
Let us talk about the different history about the celebration and its relevance to Tamil matrimony.
1. There are different origins to what Valentine’s Day is. Some say the name evolve from the French word “galantin” (a gallant or beau). Another theory is that February 14th was chosen because birds traditionally began to mate on this day.
Relevance: Tamil matrimony celebrations are also extravagant, as this is a very special event where two hearts are united as one.
2. The first history talks about the Roman conquerors that carried the celebration to England. This is where pagan and Christian Religion customs are combined to form one enduring tradition. They say that the first person you saw on Valentine’s Day would be your valentine.
Relevance: Cultures of other countries would say that Tamil matrimony is an “arranged” form of marriage. Well, it is not, it’s just about “love at first sight.”
3. Valentine’s Day was well established in Shakespeare’s time. You can see it in one of his creations – Hamlet, when Ophelia wanted to be “betime” at Hamlet’s window. She sang this version: “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your valentine!”
(William Shakespeare from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5)
Relevance: Tamil has their own version of Valentine’s Day. “Chitra Pournami – was supposed to have been the Valentine ’s Day as per Ancient Tamil Culture – followed with Indira Vizha. There is a poem in Tamil literature that refers to men courting lovely young maidens and courtesans. The poem goes this way:
இந்திர விழவில் பூவின் அன்ன
புன் தலைப் பேடை வரி நிழல் அகவும்
இவ் ஊர் மங்கையர்த் தொகுத்து, இனி
எவ் ஊர் நின்றன்று மகிழ்ந! நின் தேரே?
(Poet:Orampoki)
4. The first note on the celebration of Valentine’s Day in the earlier times was found in the poem in honor of the King of England’s first anniversary. This was written in the year 1382. As these Valentines are legendary, one Valentine wrote a Love note to his jailers’ daughter as “from your Valentine”.
Relevance: In history, these Valentines are unknown; such is like in the case for Tamil matrimony. The couple may not know if they are destined to be together, but with the “letters” done by their parents and priest to match their “stars” can be a way to know it.
However, the legend of St. Valentine stays in the hearts of all cultures. It was written that St. Valentine helped Roman soldiers’ to marry even when such weddings were banned by the Roman Empire. This was done in secrecy. Whether the legend is true or not, let us thank St. Valentine for giving us Valentine’s Day.
Anyhow, this is the day that a man suddenly gains courage to court a woman. This is the day when he can show his love and affection to that woman. Celebrate with your love one in a charming restaurant or venues with love as a theme and exchange presents.

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