With Valentine’s Day approaching very quickly, I decided to ask students whether they liked this holiday or not. There were a few who did say they did like the holiday, but there was a shocking number of people that said they hated that day because they felt it’s main purpose was to spend money and not actually celebrate love. Many went with the “you should show them you love them everyday” idea, which in some ways is true, but also, not everyone wants to be showered in chocolate and balloons everyday. The ones who said they disliked it because of the businesses just looking to make money don’t seem to have that same energy when it comes to Christmas, a holiday that is centered around giving and receiving gifts as well.
There was a fair bit who did seem to enjoy it, their reasons mostly being that chocolate fills the grocery stores and is always on sale the day right after. Not many people seemed to be truly interested in the romantic aspects of the day. There were a few who saw the day as an opportunity to do something more extravagant and special with their partner or friends, and take a break from their normal activities.
But despite the modern issues people have with Valentine’s Day, the history behind this day is nevertheless quite interesting. It stretches back to Roman times where a feast called Lupercalia was celebrated from February 13th through the fifteenth. To promote fertility, they would sacrifice a goat and a dog and then would slap the women with the skin, very romantic. But during the 5th century, Pagan holidays were being replaced or mixed with Christian holidays. Pope Gelasius I officially made February fourteenth Valentine’s Day, named after Saint Valentine.