As the 2019 New Year’s party decorations are taken off the shelves, red and pink petals and chocolate boxes are exchanged for shoppers who desire the sentiments of the impending commercial holiday. On Feb. 14, there are two sides of differing emotions: those who cannot wait to receive love letters and the temporary signs of love from their significant other, contrary to those who are left afflicted, soaking in their misery and heartbreak.
Senior Esther Williams celebrated Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend of 20 months. “We went to Café Intermezzo at The Avalon and enjoyed a peaceful night together. Also, we baked a raspberry pie, which we indulged in with our families,” Williams said.
Junior Izzy Larsen celebrated with her boyfriend, junior Ryan Anderson. “Ryan always plans the best dates and it was so much fun. We went to the Sky View downtown and even though it was raining and you could not see anything in the sky, it was still worth it,” Larsen said.
Another look at this holiday is from a view of discontent. Those who recently got out of a relationship or those who are desperately seeking love both have negative feels and often call Valentine’s Day either Single’s Awareness Day or Galentine’s Day. Senior Esther Williams said, “I don’t think people should attack Valentine’s Day; it is just about love, which you will eventually have or have now. Even if you do not have a special someone, love should still be celebrated joyfully.”
Although this holiday is manipulated for commercial purposes—benefiting the card and candy companies—there is a deeper meaning behind Valentine’s Day. The true meaning behind Valentine’s Day is not poetic and full of love like most think it is. In ancient Rome, the Romans would celebrate the feast of Lupercalia from Feb. 13 to 15. The men sacrificed a goat and dog, then would beat the women that were lined up with the skin of the dead animals. The name of Valentine’s Day came from two men who were executed by Emperor Claudius II in the third century A.D. Their names were both Valentine and soon their deaths became a celebration in the Catholic Church.
At a point in history, the holiday’s origin was centered around the brutal mistreatment of women. Now, it is quite possibly the opposite, as both women and men alike are praised and treated.
Valentine’s Day is a day focused on love no matter if you are in a relationship or not. The connection between significant others, friends and family is valuable and should be celebrated every day, but Valentine’s Day gives a unique opportunity to those who want to express a little extra love.