Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. In this interview, EPHRAIM NYONDO caught up with Levie Nkunika, Sunbird Tourism Limited group sales and marketing manager, to share notes on what the day is all about and how best it can be celebrated.
What is Valentine’s Day?
Well, Valentine’s Day also known as the St Valentine’s Day is an annual festival that falls on February 14 to celebrate romantic love, friendship and admiration. Around the world, people celebrate this day by sending messages of love and affection to their spouses, loved ones, family and friends. Couples send Valentine’s Day cards, special love messages, flowers and spend special time together to enjoy, cherish and honour their love for each other.
We hear a lot about this day. How did Valentine’s Day begin?
Well, authoritative sources indicate that Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. At the time of Valentine’s life, many Romans were converting to Christianity, but the Emperor Claudius II was a pagan and created strict laws about what Christians were allowed to do. Claudius believed that Roman soldiers should be completely devoted to Rome and therefore passed a law preventing them from marrying. St Valentine began to marry these soldiers in secret Christian ceremonies because he believed in the importance of love.
Eventually Valentine was found out and jailed for his crimes against Claudius. While imprisoned, Valentine cared for his fellow prisoners and also his jailor’s blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine cured the girl’s blindness and that his final act before being executed was to write her a love message signed ‘from your Valentine’. Valentine was executed on 14 February in the year 270. 200 years later, the Pope proclaimed the February 14 Saint Valentine’s Day establishing the feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints. In the Middle Ages, the poet Chaucer was the first to link St Valentine with romantic love. This was the beginning of the tradition of courtly love, a ritual of expressing love and admiration. This custom spread throughout the world.
What is Valentine’s Day in this day and age?
Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with romantic love. Gifts are sent with romantic messages to loved ones and couples spend special time together.
Any tips for a great Valentine’s Day?
Many couples choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner or a picnic. The best Valentine’s Day activity is to indulge in a luxury hotel stay in a beautiful location either at the lake resort like Nkopola Lodge and Livingstonia Beach Hotel, or a mountain resort like Ku Chawe, or just a special dinner in some fine dining hotels such as at Mount Soche Hotel’s Picasso’s Brasserie and Grill in Blantyre or Capital Hotel’s Vincent’s Restaurant in Lilongwe. Couples need to enjoy some quality time together. They need to experience love. In all the Sunbird Hotels there will be fine music, quality food and great ambience for a memorable day. Spoil your loved one wherever you are.