What is Valentine’s Day?

By Meghan Lessard & Celina Simmons

Google Definition: Valentine’s Day – noun: February 14, a day when it is traditional to send a card, often anonymously, to a person one is romantically involved with or attracted to. Reality: Valentine’s day in the twenty first century is controversial at best.

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Illustration by noddyjonnyshumor

According to ancient sources gathered by Belgian monks for over three centuries, Valentine’s Day was originally a celebration in honor of two Christian martyrs in the last century they studied. Legend has it the two martys, both by the same name St. Valentine, died on February 14.

These events occurred during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus in 269-270 A.D., when being Christian was punishable by death. So how did we get love letters and roses out of the execution of two saints?

This “holiday” originated from nothing close to love. We use the day as an excuse to show our significant others how much we care about them when we should be showing them in little things everyday and at its core, it’s just another day for corporate companies to make more money.

There’s a term for the kind of holiday that Valentine’s Day is. It’s called a “Hallmark holiday” and it’s just another marketing tool used by big businesses to coerce people into spending their money. According to the National Retail Federation in 2018, Americans were expected to spend roughly $19.6 billion for this special day.

When Valentine’s Day was first becoming the holiday we know it to be today, a simple homemade love letter would have sufficed. Now people spend up to hundreds of dollars on jewelry, and other gifts just for the sake of taking part in the festivities.

Yea, it’s nice to have a Valentine and spoil each other on this day, but what’s even nicer are those spur of the moment decisions to spoil the ones you love. In this case, it shows genuine love, its unplanned and shows your significant other that even on any regular day you still think of them and want to make them smile; not just because it’s a holiday.

On another note, what day is set aside for our own personal self love? Potentially the one thing that humans forget to do the most is practice self love and self care. Where is the holiday to remind us of that?

If you spent this past Valentine’s Day with someone you love, then I truly hope that you enjoyed your time together. This is not to bash the excitement of the holiday but its to look at it from a realistic standpoint. By all means indulge in the festivities if you will, but don’t forget the little things matter the most.

Categories: Calendar, Uncategorized

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