What is Valentine’s Day?
Beyond the hearts and the chocolates, what is Valentine’s Day? Is it propaganda? Or is it a piece of history? Should there be more than expressing one’s love for just one day?
Saint Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s Day as it’s more formally known as, is celebrated on February 14th.
For Christians, it is the celebration of a saint who healed his jailer’s blind daughter before his execution. He marked this day by writing the first valentine to the little girl, signing it with the inscription “Your Valentine”.
Another symbol presented on this day that is greatly associated with the holiday of love was Cupid, the God of love.
Cupid was present on Saint Valentine’s ring, worn by Christian Bishops, to represent their love towards God, and now is representative of love and a strong connection that one person has towards another.
Although Saint Valentine’s gesture did not express romantic love, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a widely-celebrated holiday. Individuals, young and old, come together to express their love for each other. For friendship or family, it is a day to show how much you care though letters and symbols.
Although many feel it is a holiday to show affection, some say that it’s a use of propaganda, built up through the media’s advertisement of the holiday.
“I think it is detrimental to our younger children as they are pressured into finding a mate to be with on Valentine’s Day and it is unwanted and unneeded pressure for the kids,” said Sammy Hurwitz, a 19-year-old Suffolk student. “I think that it is a big money-grabber in my opinion and it is very well done so I commend whoever came up with the idea. But I do not consider it an actual holiday. I am going to treat Friday like a normal day.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are individuals who look forward to the Valentine’s Day celebration because there is a special someone that they intend to share that day with. For the newly engaged Peggy Chen, she says “This year specifically is very special to me.” Chen, a 21-year-old native of New York, said she plans to celebrate with her fiancé. “We are going to go out to eat on Saturday to avoid the big crowds to have a nice quiet romantic dinner.”
“I think it’s a great holiday!” said 22-year-old Nick Lattarullo, “Although, this year, which I am really bummed out about, I am going to go tour the law school in Connecticut, I don’t know why they would have it on Valentine’s Day but they do. Its disappointing cause all I want to do is enjoy my chocolate from my grandmother.”
For some, working on Valentine’s Day is busy and hectic. Novjoot Kaur, 19, will be working at her family’s restaurant in downtown Portsmouth, NH.
“I think Valentine’s Day is cute when you’re in relationship,” said Kaur. “Otherwise, it’s a fun day to just [expletive] about it with your friends. I will be serving the love birds that night at my parent’s restaurant all night long.”
Although the restaurant business may have it tough on Valentine’s Day, Megan Duschesne of Cranston, RI has it worse.
Duschesne works in a chocolate store, and has a different look on the holiday.
“I believe that Valentine’s Day is a holiday that should not be celebrated because you should show your love to your significant other all year round and not just that one day,” said Duschene.
Working at Sweenor’s Chocolates on Valentine’s Day; [it] drives me insane [because] the lines are super long and out the door all week and weekend long.”