Valentine’s Day: Pro or Con
February 14, 2019
History of Valentine’s Day:
According to Encyclopedia Britannica Valentine’s Day is based off a Roman festival celebrating the beginning of Spring and the birth of new life. Pope Gelasius I changed the holiday in the fifth century, renaming the festival Saint Valentine’s Day. This was to celebrate Saint Valentine, and this resulted in the pairing of couples based off of a lottery. Valentine’s Day was created to celebrate the Catholic St., Valentine. Valentine was a physician who lived in the third century. He died during Roman persecution of Christians. His work as a physician established him as the patron saint of epileptics and beekeepers. Later, in the fourteenth century another St.Valentine became the patron saint of lovers, associating the original Saint Valentine’s Day with love. The second Saint Valentine was executed for performing secret marriages to young Romans after emperor Claudius II banned the practice, securing Roman men as soldiers for the military rather than husbands.
Student opinions at EHS:
Out of the students polled on Valentine’s Day (approximately 10% of the high school), the response was evenly mixed; half of the students expressed enjoyment for Valentine’s Day while the other half disagreed. Many students reported that most of their Valentine’s Day efforts would be towards family and friends rather than significant others, with only 28% of surveyors saying they’d buy gifts for romantic partners. 75% of the students spent less than $20 on Valentine’s gifts. Another evenly matched statistic was Valentine’s Day memories. Half of the students had positive memories associated with Valentine’s Day. Many wrote personal stories about receiving gifts or making Valentine’s Day cards. Unfortunately, there were just as many bad stories as good stories. Half of the students reported feeling sad or upset when single on Valentine’s Day. Some surveyors even spoke about significant relationships ending near, or on Valentine’s Day. The Eaton High School student body seems to be split on Valentine’s Day. Half of the students love the holiday whereas the other half could do without Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day: Con
Valentine’s Day celebrates two Catholic saints. The original Saint Valentine, who sacrificed his life for his faith, could be remembered as an icon for members of the beekeeping community, and more importantly for those who suffer from epilepsy. But his accomplishments will be forever foreshadowed by the commercial holiday honoring a different Saint Valentine. The second Saint Valentine was another honorable man who also died for his faith and helped young men and women who would be separated by war. But his legacy is no longer one of true love but rather superficial love. Valentine’s Day would be a beautiful holiday if it truly honored Saint Valentine and the survival of love through all trials. But in the modern world the beautiful traditions created to celebrate two Catholic Saints have turned into a day with little to no substance. This is mainly due to the tradition of giving gifts on Valentine’s Day. The candy, jewelry, balloons, flowers, and stuffed animal industries are the only people who truly benefit from Valentine’s Day while the majority of people end up with a cheap last minute gift they have absolutely no use for. Rather than exchanging sincere gifts couples end up buying whatever will impress their significant other the most and top last year’s gift. That’s not to say that only couples celebrate Valentine’s Day, many friends and family members celebrate the holiday as well; however, the emphasis on couples ostracizes those not in romantic relationships. People are pressured to participate in some sort of romantic encounter in order to avoid being labeled “sad” when compared to the Instagram posts of #BaeGoals. Abigail Hays (21) expressed her distaste on the romantic love of the holiday saying, “I think it almost makes girls feel self conscience when they don’t get something from someone.” Although one might manage to find a few authentic people appreciating their loved ones amongst the superficial celebrations of Valentine’s Day but it feels that the true spirit of the holiday is lost. Rather than being forced to half heartedly celebrate with whomever you’re in a relationship with, shouldn’t we appreciate the people we love every day. This Valentine’s Day let’s celebrate not only those we romantically love, but also our friends, parents, siblings, and everyone we don’t always remind of how thankful we are to have them in our lives.
Valentine’s Day: Pro
Valentine’s Day is a holiday not celebrated by many because they do not have a significant other. Is not Valentine’s a day about the love of those around you rather than sulking in the patterns of the holiday? In a broken age, the holiday was created to honor one who was adjoining the miracle of love. Despite the original reason, Valentine’s Day has turned into a day where partners go out to dinner, buy chocolate, and splurge on 12 dozen roses. According to NFR, it is a 19.6 billion dollar per year industry. 19.6 billion dollars in people putting their money towards materialistic items saying “I love you.” It has become a season of love for couples, friends, and family, regardless of its roots. Students across the nation seem to fail to recognize the beauty of the holiday. Valentines should not be a holiday of individuals glooming over their dating life, but experiencing the love of the people they do have. An individual should not have to feel less than they are because they do not have a significant other to share a day with. Look around at the people surrounding everyone who love them. The society consumes the mind into believing it is the sole reason for the holiday. Valentine’s Day is a time for parents to give their children a small gift of words or an item. A popular term, “Galentine’s Day” is for girls to appreciate their friendships with their friends they do life with Galentine’s is beginning to overpower the original day because it values friendships. Both terms have one thing in common: they involve loving others because of the impact they have made, rather than for fluffy feelings. Lainee Hauer (19) who likes Valentine’s day for its appreciation of others says, “I love Valentine’s Day because it is a day full of love. Everyone deserves extra love on Valentine’s Day.” Valentine’s is not a day for individuals to feel bad for themselves, but for them to appreciate the different versions of love they do have in their lives. Valentines is a nationwide holiday that many individuals use to show others affection whether being a parent, sibling, friend, or significant other.