Taroudant - February 14 of each year, the world celebrates Valentine’s Day. Today, this American celebration has become more globalized. As more people communicate via the Internet, watch satellite channels, or travel frequently, ideas become rapidly widespread in the Arab world.
Taroudant – February 14 of each year, the world celebrates Valentine’s Day. Today, this American celebration has become more globalized. As more people communicate via the Internet, watch satellite channels, or travel frequently, ideas become rapidly widespread in the Arab world.
People around the world react differently to this special occasion. They express their affection, care and appreciation for others in their own, culturally-acceptable ways. How is St Valentine celebrated in Morocco?
St Valentine is a special day in Morocco. When you go down town, you see hundreds of teenagers buying St Valentine gifts sold in most shopping malls in Rabat, Morocco’s capital.
Morocco’s new generation is more influenced today than its precedents by foreign cultures, traditions, and celebrations.
However, Morocco’s old generation is more reluctant to change, and preserve its own values and traditions. We can say that not a great majority of Moroccans celebrate Valentine; some do not even know about it; others neglect it or simply don’t believe in it.
History of Saint Valentine’s Day
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.
Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.
Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.
In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800?s and now the date is very commercialized. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.
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