Whenever there is a mention of love and romance, can the Greeks ever be far behind? Since time immemorial, sagas of love have been narrated and passed on, from generation to generation. They recount stories of immortal and carnal love, like the marriage between Jeus and Hera or the dazzling beauty, Aphrodite. Celebrated on 14th February every year, the festival of Valentine’s Day is an observation of courtly love that mainly flourished during the High Middle Ages. However, the association of this festival with the month of February can be traced back to ancient Greece and, to some an extent, ancient Romania as well. The month of Gamelion, which is the fifth month of the Athenian calendar, was regarded as an auspicious event. This month, which usually falls from the middle of January till the middle of the month of February, was dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera. This sacred marriage is referred to as the hieros gamos or the "holy or sacred marriage". Although the infidel nature of Zeus was always an issue in their marriage, nevertheless, the Greeks honored and revered this union between their king god and his queen. Read on to explore all about Valentine’s Day traditions in Greece.
Valentine’s Day Celebrations in Greece
One is almost always amazed by the degree of splendor and display that one gets to see during the occasion of Valentine’s Day, all over Greece. Street shows, grand decors, parties and get-togethers are a part and parcel of the event. Even today, the event is a popular date for the young to propose, get engaged and even get married. The entire day is spent in the company of friends and loved ones and it is a common belief that Cupid, the god of love and beauty that is often represented by a small mischievous winged child with an arrow that pierces the heart, is responsible for this. Although these myths and legends have been removed from the cultural framework of the country, certain rituals have been handled down from generation to generation and are followed till date, like giving cards and other expressions of love to the beloved.
All over Germany, Valentine cards, flowers and chocolates are very popular and are exchanged between lovers and sweethearts. The intense beauty of the country, with its rich history and colossal dignity, can be viewed in every nook and corner, starting from the northern part of Turkey till the zones of Bulgaria and Albania. One can almost feel a unique classical dimension all over, which the country offers to its natives and visitors during the occasion. Thus, in all its gleam and glamour, Greeceportrays its exquisite culture and heritage. To add to this feeling of richness and gaiety, parties are organized all over and people can be seen merry-making day and night. Make this Valentine’s Day extra special for your loved one by panning for a visit to this country of love and romance.