Valentine’s Day, or the holiday’s full title, Saint Valentine’s Day, is a time dedicated to lovers. But, why are hearts, flowers and everything romance associated with a Christian saint?
The details on Valentine’s Day’s origins are murky, but History.com dates it back to the ancient Romans and the Catholic Church. During the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men under the notion that single men made better soldiers than family men. Defying Claudius, Valentine performed secret marriages for young lovers, resulting in an order for his death.
According to History.com, another legend states Saint Valentine sent a letter from prison to his lover addressed, “From your Valentine.” Hence the modern-day, February panic to find a Valentine.
Though the story is unclear, in every legend it’s apparent Saint Valentine was a combatant for romance.
Even still, why February? History.com states it may be because the Church wanted to Christianize the pagan celebration of fertility, where the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would sacrifice a goat and dog and then dip strips of goat hide in blood. The priests would then go into the streets to slap women and crops with said bloodied hide. Romantic.
Yet with all this history, Valentine’s Day is now celebrated with sales, overpriced flowers, forced romance, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and making those who are single feel bad for being alone. It’s a day for businesses to post a sale, but what holiday hasn’t become corporate?
So don’t feel bad for not having a Valentine, because no one really knows what they’re celebrating, and you don’t need a lover to eat chocolate. And while it’s fun to have a day of love, be sure to always be sweet to significant others, not just once a year.
Buy flowers once a month, not once a year, and be sweet out of affection, not holiday necessity, because love is a feeling, not an obligation.