In honour of Valentine’s day, I’m posting a picture of the above sculpture which we saw on a column in one of the temples in Kanchipuram. Several temples have erotic sculptures which can be quite explicit. Some of the gopurams have a small series of naked figures in one of the corners. We were gazing at these in one of the temples we visited when an elderly man came up to us and explained that they were there as a form of sex education for young people who in the old days would have no other way of finding out about the facts of life. But I digress……………..
We returned to Rome just before Valentine’s day and heard that Papa Francesco, for the first time in the history of the church, was celebrating the day by blessing couples engaged to be married. The ceremony, originally planned for 7,000 was to be held in the Nervi Auditorium. However, the response was so positive that around 25,000 were expected and the event was held in St. Peter’s Square.
The weather is bright and sunny here and since we live a few minutes walk from St. Peter’s, we wandered down to take a look. The Square was packed with people holding flags and balloons. There were readings by various people on marriage interspersed with pop songs about love. A bit of a media circus in my opinion but then I’m old and cynical! The Pope tweeted a message saying “Dear young people, don’t be afraid to marry. A faithful and fruitful marriage will bring you happiness.” He later mingled with the couples and gave his blessings.
We did not celebrate the day with anything special but we did go to Lake Bracciano for Sunday lunch yesterday where we enjoyed a fine meal in a restaurant on the edge of the water, with Valentine’s day decorations hanging from the windows. Not that we chose this restaurant because of that but rather for the food. You know you’re getting old when food is more important than romance!