Over the years, the Valentine’s holiday has become more acceptable in spite of the fact that a much larger celebration for women comes around annually on the 8th day of March. Yet still today, many a Russian woman will tell you that Valentine’s day is a Roman Catholic holiday, and to that end she is correct as Valentine has never been accepted as a saint by Eastern Orthodox Catholics.
Some ladies do like the attention that the day brings, but others will try to explain that Valentine’s Day is a Trojan horse; a Western ploy to bring anti-family values to Russia under the guise of a heart, chocolates, flowers, and a NATO marine disguised as a naked and overweight child-angel, bearing arms.
Ukrainian women are not always so adamant, perhaps because of the Uniate (Roman) Catholic influence in parts of Ukraine, and the outright Roman Catholic popularity in the parts of Western Ukraine that formerly belonged to Poland. However, some Ukrainian ladies will share those feelings that something about Valentine’s day is evil.
How will you know? Ask her. (First, practice those “duck and cover” drills you learned in elementary school–just in case the answer sets off an explosion of sorts.)
For those ladies, stick with 08 March. It is a much bigger deal anyway. Trust us, you will not be burned at the stake if you tread lightly around Valentine’s day. For those too timid to venture the question, compromise. Express to her how unique it is that Valentine’s day falls on the same day to celebrate Stalin’s liberation of Rostov-on-the Don. For the love of god, resist the temptation to mention that Rostov is where the bodies of the Russian soldiers “who are not really in Ukraine” are processed for burial after trucks bring those bodies, that do not exist, back across the border.
Just comment that Rostov has a nice river, and you heard that sometimes, in between long periods of cowardice, Stalin was a hero. To make her chest swell with pride (and we all love when those chests swell!), tell her of your learned opinion that Marshal General Zhukov was a nice guy, but overrated.
Leave the rest unspoken.
Happy Stalininka day!