Roses are red, violets are blue, St. Valentine’s Day is an evening for two. St. Valentine’s Day, the Feast of St. Valentine, or how most people know it as simply, Valentine’s Day, is known to be a day to celebrate love, romance, and in many countries, friendship. Many people celebrate it because it shows their loved ones that they appreciate them. But do you know how it all started?
There are a couple of legends that go around and about, and one of the most famous stories is about a man named Valentine, who served during the 13th century in Rome as a priest. He noticed that the Emperor at the time (Emperor Claudius II) ordered to have the young men become soldiers because he thought that the single men became better soldiers than men with wives and families. So he decided to outlaw marriages for young men.
Valentine, as the caring man he was, saw the act of injustice and continued to perform marriages, secretly helping the ones that were in love despite the consequences that might come.
But Valentine’s secret actions were eventually exposed and the Emperor ordered that the priest be sent to jail and put to death. Valentine was punished for doing what he thought was right, making his actions selfless and heroic.
Another legend that supports that story goes even further to state that while Valentine was in prison, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent letters to her. Right before his death, he sent his last letter, signed “From your Valentine.” That later became famous, and to this day, it is used in the name of the annual holiday that everyone celebrates on February 14th.
The actions that were thought to be made by Valentine are known to be romantic and heart filling, and they inspire us today to do the same and celebrate the holiday with our special someone.
Speaking of special someones, the holiday is known to be celebrated by couples, but the holiday is also celebrated among friends. In some countries, it is pretty common to see people do small acts of appreciation for their friends during the holiday.
But when it comes to couples, it’s become a tradition to buy roses, chocolates, and teddy bears to show their loved ones that they care. Joel Warren, a Humanities teacher at AISB, celebrates Valentine’s Day by preparing a surprise for his partner, and “That surprise would either be a gift, a night out, or a love letter.” He reminds us that the day is celebrated to recognize love and affection. “But at the same time, companies take advantage of this, and [traditionally] focus on marketing gifts to men, creating the pressure to buy something for women.” And it is, in fact, true for some people.
According to PsychCentral.com, the sales for Valentine’s Day reach around $18.6 billion. On average, people spend $130.97 per person, $145 million on Valentine’s Day cards and $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold, and silver. And that’s a lot of pressure!
But what about the statistics regarding men? Has this changed over the years?
When thinking about this, remember that Valentine’s Day started in the 3rd century and that it slowly became a tradition for men to impress women.
Many people around the world think a lot about the most important part of any major celebration: Human Equality. And Valentine’s Day can be the start of that mentality. People should unite and spend the celebration with the same rights and for the same reason: to celebrate love.
Remember, buying something very expensive for your partner on Valentine’s Day may be very romantic, but appreciating their smile, going to a nice restaurant, and walking hand in hand can do the part, too. The only thing that matters on Valentine’s Day, and every day of a relationship, is that you are respected and feel appreciated by the person you love and cherish.