What is it?
Valentwe'en was born in 2015 in the quiet town of St. Petersburg, Florida. Its humble origins started as a new holiday to combine Second Hallowe'en (replacing Valentine's Day, as inspired by memes on social media) and environmentalism (tied to the later spring holiday of Earth Day). As it was formed by an artist, creativity is encouraged for this celebration. At present, the parameters of the holiday sit as such:
*Valentwe'en is celebrated in February, either on the full moon or, if no full moon is present, on the 13th day.
*Its official mascot is the Grim Cupid. The Grim Cupid can manifest differently year to year (vampire, ghost, zombie, skeleton....as long as it has the Cupid influence, we are good to go!)
*It is a holiday that combines dark romance, a bit of cynical lightheartedness, and environmentalism.
*Celebratory events include dressing in costume (a la Hallowe'en) as your favorite romantic couple (Valentine's Day). Or, for original costumes, dress in a type of gothic outfit for the day.
*Watching a movie that features a dark romance. Past themes include Little Shop of Horrors (2015), Corpse Bride (2016), and Warm Bodies (2017). Costumes may also reflect the year's themed characters.
*Go on a ghost tour, ghost investigation, or other spooky but fun event with that special someone. (Valentwe'en can also be for friends as well as romantic partners. There is no reason to make it strange....well, okay, stranger.
*Giving candy (Hallowe'en) in the form of anatomically correct hearts, skulls, coffins, etc. (One way of celebrating is to actually buy the forms and make the candy if you are so inclined).
*Giving out the official holiday flower -- a black calla lily. Other black flowers are acceptable, but the calla lily is desired.
*Doing something nice for the earth (planting a new plant if you are in a warmer climate, recycling or upcycling items, conserving natural resources where appropriate).
*Creating Valentwines -- short semi-creepy poetry about love combined with images that can be either Hallowe'en or romantic in origin. A general idea runs along the lines of "Blood cells are red, veins are deep blue, sugar is delicious....and so are you." Again, to encourage creativity, these can (and should) be handmade. Remember, it's the thought that counts.
Valentwe'en can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Go out to dinner, dance like Gomez and Morticia in the Addams Family, stay in and catch a flick....it's entirely up to you.
Valentwe'en 2019: Feb. 19. (Unless we make it into the national registry of holidays! Then it's Feb. 13).