wtorek, 15 lutego 2011

St. Valentine's Day in Poland

When you come to Poland in the middle of February, you'll see... that love is all around!
When you turn on the radio, there will be mostly love songs...
On tv and at the cinema, romantic comedies...
In restaurants, couples head over heels in love...
Well, love sells well.
Also in Poland :-)

St. Valentine's Day is not a typical Polish tradition - it made a new entry to our culture about 15 years ago.
Of course, in such a commercialized form, it came from the United States.
That's why some of us celebrate it, others organize Anty-St. Valentine's Day or just pretend that 14 February is a day as usual. Nothing special.
Still...
Turn right. Turn left. And you'll notice them everywhere: red hearts, sweet teddy bears, love cards, roses, balloons, heart-shaped cakes...
You can get enough!


But maybe it's not bad that one day in a year reminds us to celebrate love?
We often forget about small gestures, sweet words, kisses... and it's so nice to get an anonymous card signed "Your Valentine" (still, we usually put our name - don't know why!).
More often than sending cards to their lovers men buy some gifts (a piece of jewellery, sweets or roses), invite women to restaurants (on that day it's better to book a table in advance) or organize a romanting trip.
And women? Usually we just want to look well on that day ;)
It's a bit unfair, I know.
But generally speaking, we, as a nation, love-hate St. Valentine's day.
Still, the popularity of it is increasing every year!

***
I know only about two places in Poland connected with St. Valentine.
One is Valentine's altar located in Chelmno - the place where singles and lovers come to pray and ask for a happy marital life.
The other is a small St. Valentine's shrine in my home town, Tarnow.
Oh, I would forget...
In some of the churches in Poland there are Saint Valentine's relics :-)
***

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