The month of February chaperons a number of emotions and events, some of those being daunting. With increased stress and lack of motivation among students, Valentine’s Day can either make or break your February. A popular opinion that people usually side with is that you have to be in a relationship to even think of celebrating this ‘lover’s holiday’, but it can also be a day to spread positivity and appreciation. Spin-offs off of Valentine’s Day have appeared recently, encouraging friendships and non-romantic relationships to be cherished as well as the original target. But with this being said, Valentine’s Day is not for everyone. Even so, we should all know the history of how this casual holiday came to be.
As romantic as February 14th is, it’s root is very gory. This date started out as a feast for the celebration of the decapitation of a Christian martyr; someone who is killed, because of religion or belief. The name came from two different St. Valentines, both of whom, were executed on February 14th in the 3rd century but in differing years. They were then recognized and remembered on their death date, as well as the day before and the day after, with the celebration of “St. Valentine”. This included the sacrifice of a goat and dog, as well as inhumane whipping done by animal hides. Later on, in the 5th century, it was outlawed and deemed unChristian. At this point, it seems impossible for the glow up of the holiday to happen, but Shakespeare and Chaucer romanticized it in their works, making Britain and Europe intrigued by the idea. Over time, February 14th transformed itself from a horror show to a passionate, loving holiday.
Now just like any other difference between cultures, Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently across the World. In Mexico for example, this day is called “Dia del amor y la Amistad” which translates to “The Day of Love and Friendship”. In Sweden, “Alla Hjartans Dag” is an expression that means “All Hearts Day”, when speaking about this holiday. Valentine’s Day is as commercial in Mexico as it is in America, but they are very fond of gifting things to platonic friends. And if someone wanted to go above and beyond, they would even hire a Mariachi band to declare their love. In Argentina, lovers get twice the fun. Not only do they celebrate the traditional Valentine’s Day, but a “Sweetness Week” in July dedicated to exchanging kisses for treats. Another fun tradition around the World occurs in Romania, where couples pick flowers and wash their faces in snow solely to honor Cupid.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, take a moment to recognize someone in your life. A small gesture like a note can help spread positivity during this stressful, longing month. The high school has some great fundraisers going on like singing telegrams and the gift of carnations, so don’t miss out! And cheers to everyone celebrating this year; Happy Valentine’s Day!