The Legacy and Hope of Valentine’s Day


By Emery Graninger

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching without much fanfare, and in a world occupied with a pandemic, how will we celebrate? 

Before offering safe suggestions on the day, I believe it is essential to discuss the differing opinions and origins of the multi-million dollar industry that is Valentine’s Day. According to the BBC, the day gets its name from the famous St. Valentine, a priest from Rome in the third century AD. The legend goes back to when Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage due to the belief that married men were unfit soldiers. St. Valentine disagreed with this, so he meddled with the rules and arranged marriages in secret. Eventually, Claudius found out and was infuriated. He had Valentine thrown in jail and sentenced to an untimely death. Unexpectedly, while in jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. When he was taken to be killed on February 14, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine.” Whether this is entirely true remains lost to time. However, the effect the story has is still evident throughout history. 

Coming back to the present day, Valentine’s Day has an immense following, and with this popularity  comes a massive amount of conflicting opinions. While some enjoy Valentine’s Day, believing it is for spreading love and joy, others have a more cynical view of the holiday. Upon interviewing some friends and family on this topic, I have deduced two sides to this argument. The first is that Valentine’s Day is good because it supports love being spread, not only romantically but platonically. It is a day to show appreciation through love, cards, and candy. Others argue that Valentine’s Day is only festive for a small number of people and the multi-million dollar industries that benefit from such a pressure-filled holiday. They state that the holiday is only useful for people in relationships and serves as an ill-reminder for all those who spend the holiday alone by choice or loss. Either way, this Valentine’s Day is bound to be different than the rest, so if you choose to celebrate, how can you do it safely?

 For those of you who live at home, have a small celebration with the people in your family. Making a cake, playing board games, and binge-watching bad movies with popcorn are some simple ways to brighten the day. If you have relatives or friends up for it, plan a virtual party on Zoom! Mailing or dropping off surprise gifts is also a great way to spread love during the season. Covid-19 is a bummer, but that doesn’t mean Valentine’s Day has to be sacrificed. Show the ones you love that you are grateful for them. Spread kindness and appreciation on such a fun holiday. Chocolate and bright red heart-shaped cards await you!