Why Valentine is all about Red

Why Valentine is all about Red

• Shops are selling anything red

 Valentine’s Day or St. Valen­tine’s Day is when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts on February 14.

Whether it is pending the evening with someone special or buying them gifts, Valentine’s Day is a celebratory day for many. But the question is why is the colour red associated to the occasion unlike other events such as Christmas (which is red and green)?

Weeks before the celebration, shelves of stores are decorated in red, white, and pink.

Red is usually the colour associated with Valentine’s Day but you rarely see Valentine’s Day decorations with just red. This colour is almost always flanked by pink and white.

One of the simple reasons why red is connected to love (and to St. Val­entine’s Day) is the fact that it is the same color of blood and of the heart.

This connection to love is part of why some countries, including China and India, encourage brides to wear red to their weddings. White is tra­ditionally associated with purity and innocence.

On its own, white symbolises purity but its combination with red is signif­icant when it comes to Valentine’s Day, too. The colour combination of red and white is often thought to symbolise unity, which offers another explanation.

Scientists have even deduced that the colour red evokes some of the strongest feelings in us, just by sight. Both men and women are more attractive to the other sex when the colour red is in the picture. So, it is no surprise that the vibrant and intense colour has become a symbol of St. Valentine’s Day.

The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint are shrouded in mystery. One legend holds that Valentine was responsible for passing notes between incarcerated Christian lovers and performing mar­riages between them. Another holds that he became romantically involved with a woman whose sight he had restored, sending her a note signed, “From your Valentine.”

Although the true origin of the holiday remains vague, Valentine’s Day was not celebrated as a day of romance until about the 14th century.

In Ghana, the day is celebrated to promote the consumption of choco­late and other cocoa products among the population. This initiative was spearheaded by the then tourism minister, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey (of blessed memory) in 2007 who announced that Val’s Day would be replaced by the celebration of choc­olate.

The idea has caught on with Ghana­ians, as many buy chocolates and oth­er cocoa products for their loved ones on February 14, aside red clothing, flowers, teddy bears, and wine.

 By Yunusah Essandoh

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