Is St. Valentine’s Day Worth Celebrating?

Valentine’s Day is a special holiday that celebrates love: the love that you have for someone special in your life. Many people believe that Valentine’s Day is only for people who have a significant other, but it goes beyond so much more than what is portrayed in commercial items such as heart-shaped chocolates and cringy poems.

A painting of St. Valentine reminds everyone of the origin of Valentine’s Day. Multiple legends surround St. Valentine and have stated that he was a Priest that used to perform marriages in secret since it was outlawed, risking his life and eventually getting executed. (Photo Taken From History.com)

The history of Valentine’s Day opens up a whole new perspective about this holiday. Every February 14, chocolates, flowers, and cards get exchanged to show the care someone may have to the receiver of the gifts. This tradition has been going on for quite a while—since 496 A.D.—but the legend and origin of Valentine’s Day still remain unclear.

The holiday is built around a martyred saint called—you guessed it—St. Valentine. Although there is no true history of what happened to Valentine, there are three popular legends that surround him and his legacy.

The first legend is set in 3rd century Rome. Emperor Claudius ll had outlawed marriage for young men because he thought they would make better soldiers than husbands and fathers. Valentine, a priest who saw the unfairness, performed marriages in secret and when he was eventually found out, he was beheaded.

The second legend states that a Valentine used to help Christians escape Roman prisons and avoid being tortured.

The last legend surrounds a man named Valentine in prison. He used to send letters to his lover who was possibly his jailor’s daughter, signed with, ‘from your Valentine,’ an expression that is still widely used on this holiday.

Even though there are many legends that surround this holiday and the true origin appears to be unclear, the general opinion is that the person behind Valentine’s day was a romantic and helped shine a light on the world with great intentions.

If the history of Valentine’s Day is still not enough to convince you to appreciate it, there are still many more reasons it should be celebrated: for its purpose and importance. Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and being grateful for the loved ones in your life, however, if you find yourself not in a grateful feeling mood for anyone, this is the perfect day to have a ‘self-love’ day.

Even though this day is known for celebrating love for family, friends, or a significant other, not everyone believes this holiday has the same intentions for society.

Junior Daryn Smith believes that Valentine’s Day should be a day to celebrate yourself instead.

The different types of self-care are physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Valentine’s Day has been a perfect day to take time for yourself and realize that celebrating oneself is just as important as celebrating another. (Photo Taken From Cityyear.org)

“If there’s one person I think you should be celebrating on a day about love, it is yourself,” Smith said. “Take that day for self-love, self-care, and be kind to yourself.”

If you are not in a relationship, that’s ok! This day is not to just celebrate your significant other. Take some time to pamper yourself like buying a present or practicing self-care. Show yourself a little holiday love this year and it is a guarantee that you will feel better!

Junior Maya Chinai agrees that Valentine’s Day should always be celebrated because it celebrates all kinds of love.

“I think even if you don’t have a significant other, it’s worth celebrating with your friends or those close to you,” Chinai said. “Love isn’t just romantic and you can celebrate your love for anyone in any way.”

Valentine’s day is known to be a day celebrating the romance in a relationship, however, there are three types of love, and not all of them have to be the romantic type for a significant other. These three words originate from the bible in the Old Testament from the Greek Language, and they help further the understanding of love and how it can mean something different for everybody.

The love that mostly gets celebrated on this day is the Eros love which is the romantic type of love. This word translates to “erotic” in the English language which means someone has really strong feelings towards another person. It’s one of several Greek words for love and the Bible refers to it as a person who has sacrificial love that desires another person’s well-being.

The heart shape has been associated with Valentine’s Day since the 19th century. Whether or not Valentine’s day is celebrated with somebody special, it’s the perfect day to show appreciation to those closest to you such as family or friends. (Photo Taken From Istockphoto.com)

The second type is Philia love. This type of love is the friendly love friends, or sometimes family members, have towards each other. Philia means the opposite of “phobia.” It’s love that makes two people comfortable with each other.

The last type of love is Agape which is considered to be a charity type of love. This form of charity is not the general giving back to the community, but more to do with a person who is in a relationship and is unselfish and concerned with the joy of others. This type of love can often be seen as one-sided because it can lead to sacrifices without expecting anything in return.

Since there are several types of love that can be celebrated on this day, there is no reason for anyone to not celebrate it since it doesn’t have to be dedicated to the Eros type of love. It’s still worthwhile, even if just celebrated with family and friends.

Taking time out of your day to show a little care to yourself or the ones dear to your heart is worth the hassle. Thanking your family and friends for always being there for you with a card or a container of chocolate, for instance, helps make their day a little brighter and shows them that you care.

Back in the Victorian days, Valentine’s Day gifts were elaborate and well thought of. The cards were trimmed with lace and had well-thought-out, handwritten poems scribed onto them.

An elegantly laced card known as a “Vinegar Valentine” states how the card-giver loves someone else. In the Victorian era, these cards were traded when love was one-sided. (Photo Taken From History.com)

In some cases, when a lady received a card that did not reciprocate her feeling, she gave back a “Vinegar Valentine.” Vinegar Valentines are just like how they sound. Instead of proclaiming your love for someone, it’s a card that turns them down.

The most popular saying out of all Vinegar Valentines was a card with a lemon decoration and a poem reading,

“’Tis a lemon that I hand you, and bid you now skidoo. Because I love another… there is no chance for you!”

From the fascinating history to the various ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, this holiday should be continued to be celebrated. Although it can be over-commercialized at times, the meaning behind it gives you the opportunity to tell someone you love and appreciate them—and what better day to say this than on Valentine’s Day?

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  • Valentine’s Day cupcakes and sweet treats line a Target shelf waiting for a customer to pass by and purchase one of these sweet goodies. Cards, flowers and chocolates have been the main gifts given on this holiday, but adding a baked good to your list of gifts as well would make the holiday even sweeter.

  • Target has an abundance of cute Valentine’s Day cards that are sure to brighten someone’s holiday. Cards have been a simple yet meaningful gift to give with sweet messages scribed on the inside as well as the outside.

  • Russell Stover chocolate candies all wrapped in an elegant package remains on display. The simple act of giving sweets to a loved one will be sure to make their holiday.

  • Target gets ready for Valentine’s Day with a cute set up displaying different varieties of holiday chocolate. Valentine’s Day is the holiday to buy chocolate and/or little gifts to give to your loved ones.

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