Face Off: What is the true meaning of Valentine’s day?

Valentine’s day is holiday that you either love or hate. Those in relationships love it, while those of us who are single love the discounted candy the day after. But what is the true meaning of Valentine’s day? Is an important day that celebrates love, or is it a pointless holiday used by corporations to make money?

Love- Lena “Gaby” Holmes

Although corporations, like Hallmarks, have encroached on Valentine’s Day and tried to make it a corporate holiday, Valentine’s Day is still a day for love. No matter how hard corporations try, Valentine’s Day will always be a day to celebrate love, the root of the holiday. Valentine’s Day started out as a celebration of St. Valentine who is alleged to have helped marry people who were forbidden to be married and who, himself, fell in love with his jailer’s’ daughter and wrote her a letter signed “from your Valentine.”  Valentine’s Day has always celebrated love, love for St. Valentine and the love St. Valentine had for people in love.

Moreover, Valentine’s Day is the most popular day to get married on. This means that Valentine’s Day is a lot of people’s wedding anniversary where they celebrate how in love they still are with each other. It’s a day where bosses are a little more lenient, let’s them get out of work a bit earlier and those couples can take some time to go on a date, reminisce, and fall even more in love with each other.  

Also, while Valentine’s Day could possibly be leaning towards the more corporate side in America, it’s not the case in other countries. In fact, in Colombia, instead of spending a bunch of money on gifts and flowers, they make the day, which they celebrate it on Sept. 20, all about friendship and relationships. Groups of friends or couples will get together for dinner, play games, and just spend time with each other. In the Philippines, on Valentine’s Day, they have free “mass wedding celebrations” where a bunch of couples will get married, all dressed in white. Altogether, Valentine’s Day may lean towards a commercialized feel but people all around the world make sure that the day remains a day to celebrate love.  

Corporations may try to make Valentine’s Day all about money, but, people and the way they choose to celebrate it will help keep the true theme of Valentine’s Day alive.

 Corporations- Alexandra Herlihy

Valentine’s Day tries to market itself as celebrating love, but in actuality, it’s a Hallmark holiday. That means that it’s only popular so Hallmark can sell more cards and other products. If you have a significant other, you shouldn’t use the Valentine’s Day excuse to do something nice for them. The best expressions of love are when show your partner you care because you want to, not on a day that society says that you should.

The typical argument against Valentine’s Day is that it’s awful for single people, which it is. When I was in high school, you could buy flowers for your “special someone” and they would be delivered with a handwritten note on Valentine’s Day. I would walk through school seeing all my friends have ten flowers each, and I wouldn’t have a single one. The day can remind people of relationships that they used to have and make them miserable. For single people, the only good thing that Valentine’s Day brings is the heavily discounted gourmet chocolates on sale the day after.

Valentine’s Day also doesn’t support modern relationships. Relationships today aren’t as cookie cutter as they used to be, so Valentine’s Day is kind of outdated since it celebrates traditional marriage and relationships.

If you want an excuse to spoil your significant other and be really cheesy and cliche, then Valentine’s Day is perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with the holiday. It’s just that it’s been taken over by commercialism. Hallmark noticed that their sales were dropping after the Christmas and New Years hype so they hijacked this holiday to make more money.

About Gaby Holmes and Alexandra Herlihy

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