Valentine’s Day Traditions

By Jennifer Lawrence
Senior Editor

tv_oped   What is Valentine’s Day and why do we celebrate it?

   There were many Saint Valentine’s. Which one exactly the holiday is named for is unknown. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints removed Valentine’s Day from their calendar. This was done because, “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.”

   Many legends surround St. Valentine. It is said that he preformed illegal marriages for soldiers. To remind them of God’s love, St. Valentine cut hearts out of parchment paper and gave to the soldiers and persecuted Christians. This may be why hearts are still used as a symbol of Valentine’s Day today.

   According to legend, St. Valentine wrote a card to his jailer’s daughter and signed “From your Valentine”. This is the origin of the Valentine’s card. Yet, with all of this, Valentine’s Day was not associated with love until 1382 when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a romantic love poem to honor the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.

   It wasn’t until the last 70 years that Valentine’s Day has evolved into a gift-giving holiday. It began with flowers and chocolates. In the 80’s, the diamond industry expanded it to what it is known as today, an occasion to give jewelry.

   In 2012, it was estimated that $13.4 billion was spent of Valentine’s Day according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.

   Today, Valentine’s Day is perceived as a “Hallmark holiday”, that is a holiday made up by companies such as Hallmark to sell their items. Valentine’s Day as we know it is not a celebration of a memorable event.

   Traditional Valentine’s Day presents irritate me. My husband knew better than to propose to me on Valentine’s Day. I informed him on our first Valentine’s Day together I do not do teddy bears, candy or flowers. Our first Valentine’s Day, he bought me a frying pan. Yes, that was a perfect gift.

   This year, he is getting me a new tattoo. Nothing spells love like some fresh ink.

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