Valentine´s Day Over the Years in Australia
Over the past few years Valentine´s Day became more popular than it was ever before. It was usually celebrated with a Valentine card, expressing your feelings for someone you have long-time crush. However, as everything else, Valentine´s Day became more about materialism than feelings, but, hopefully, there are some feelings left.
In Australia, on the other hand, Valentine´s Day is the time to strengthen the bond not only between two lovers, but also between family, friends and neighbours. By showing them a simple act of love, we are able to fix all our previous misunderstandings. 90% of people between the ages 18-24 celebrate Valentine´s Day in Australia. Surprisingly, 50% of people over 50 celebrate Valentine as well.
However, there is no need to think that only in this consumerism age Valentine is about extravagance and wealth. For example, Australian gold rush period was also a similar period, if not even more materialized then today. Apparently, the miners that found new treasure in the Ballarat Mines purchased special Valentines which cost thousands of pounds. Such Valentines were usually from satin cushions, richly decorated with flowers and shells and perfumed with most wonderful fragrances.
The way of sending Valentine´s Day cards also suffered changes. We usually, do not do it like before. Valentine´s Day cards were replaced with Valentine´s Day SMS or e-mails, Facebook statuses or tweets. Emotions are hard to say in person, but obviously, very easy to publish on social networks.
We buy expensive presents trying to convince someone that we love them more than anything. For others, Valentine´s Day is an opportunity to buy something great for their significant other, something that they need and consider that Valentine is just appropriate occasion.
On the other hand, people were much closer before, meaning that you were probably aware who your neighbour was, and now we often do not even bother to say hello. We have hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends that are not really our friends. Before we cared for our family and relatives, today we don´t even have them as Facebook friends.
Because of all these facts, Valentine´s Day is a good holiday to make these connections visible again. Therefore, we buy gifts, go on trips, buy chocolate and flowers for persons who are not even our lovers. Is it a way to shake off the guilt? Probably once it was. But now we see Valentine´s day as such, and there is no way to change it. Everybody would simply feel neglected if we would skip one Valentine´s Day and decided not to buy gifts, not to send flowers or cards. It is a tradition now, and whatever it makes you feel, we should appreciate it.
You don´t have to send expensive Valentines like gold miners, you don´t have to buy expensive jewellery or perfumes, you can visit all those you love, at least you can call to say something special, you can plan some amazing dates for you and your significant other, you can make them a card, even buy something goofy or necessary. The price of the gift is not going to say how much you love someone, the words are. So, say it!
It is said that first Valentine greetings were popular even back in Middle Ages and that the first written notes go back to 1400. Therefore, tradition of exchanging cards is not short, and we should continue it. Therefore, if you consider sending your sweet words online or via mobile application, than please think again. Usually, women are those who send the cards for Valentine´s Day, and this is the second greatest holiday with card tradition. Only for Christmas more cards are sent every year.
This, further, means that men usually buy gifts, and now even more than ever before. Valentine´s Day is associated with flowers and chocolate – therefore, these items are most often bought gifts, followed by jewellery. The top three Valentine´s Day gifts remained pretty much the same for the last 20 or 30 years. These items were most bought items, although in smaller scale. Today, almost every second person sends at least one of the three items for their significant other.
Now, there are more choices for Valentine´s Day gifts. The market is unbelievably huge and there is almost nothing you can´t buy. There are many personalized gifts of different price ranges. There are more chocolate-related and flower-related items than ever before. Yet we feel like love does not exist. A simple act of love for all the people around you would be enough – offer your place on the bus for an old person, help someone across the street, say “Hello” to your neighbour, visit your parents, hug a random stranger, kiss your son and daughter, say “I love you” to the person you love – and you, and all of them will have a great Valentine´s Day.