The allure of Valentine’s Day

Beau Brown

Another day, another dollar, or in the case of Valentine’s Day, another $30 spent on a cliché bouquet of roses, some type of delectably fattening chocolates and a romantic comedy featuring a chiseled, shirtless man and an independent woman who succumbs to his charming personality.

Yes, Valentine’s Day has returned for another year. And though couples may not be that stereotypical anymore, there are many young lovebirds across the country and on our campus who are putting their own spin
on celebrating.  

Valentine’s Day has been a long tradition that has evolved in forms of celebration for centuries. The legend behind the holiday stretches back to the age of saints in the Roman Catholic religion. 

According to history.com, the most famous story is of St. Valentine, who, in rebellion against Roman Emperor Claudius II, performed marriages for young soldiers who were in love even though a law was created forbidding such an act. 

Valentine’s Day was declared a Christian holiday by Pope Gelasius in an effort to rid the Roman Empire of the pagan festival of fertility called Lupercalia. During this celebration, young women in the city would place their names in a large urn. Later on, bachelors would pull out one name from the urn and be matched with the woman the name
belonged to.

Though our love choices nowadays don’t depend on picking a name out of an urn, there are many modern traditions that are attributed to Valentine’s Day.

For example, UA junior Alicia Ivanoff and her boyfriend, Michael, have quite the day planned for Feb. 14.

“We are planning on having dinner at his place,” said Ivanoff. “I’ve spent a week working on decorating his gift. We didn’t speak about prices of the gifts because I feel that it’s not the price that matters, it’s the thought behind the gift.” 

Kelsey Lewis and her better half have a similar idea in mind.

“He has a night of ‘serendipitous splendor’ planned, while I have a few tricks up my sleeve as well,” said Lewis, a student majoring in exercise science. “We’ll be spending the night together. I’m excited because I know it’ll be sweet and different.”

Heck, even single people can find ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some shape or form. According to Quinn Parker, a freshman majoring in education, she has a special tradition for her Valentine’s Day while living the single life.

“I’m usually single on Valentine’s Day,” said Parker. “But I make the most of it by renting a lot of romantic movies and buying tons of ice cream and chocolates to eat by myself.” 

While many people see Valentine’s Day as a perfect opportunity to celebrate love, the holiday is typically seen as biased towards couples. For some single people, they just blink at the day indifferently, seeing it as another common day with no significance.

“I think Valentine’s Day is just a made-up holiday to make single people feel sorry for themselves,” said Nyk Pamboukis, a freshman majoring in psychology. “You shouldn’t set aside one day of the year to show your love. Every day should be ‘Valentine’s Day’ when you’re in a relationship.”

On the other hand, there are singles that find Valentine’s Day as important and should be revered by people. 

“Ideally, I think it should be about confessing your love to someone on the roof of a high school while holding a box of homemade chocolates, in a sense,” said Parker.

For most couples, Valentine’s is a special day for a relationship. It can help rekindle a flame that may have died down and it provides a chance for a nice gesture to be made between two lovers.

“I think the reason behind Valentine’s Day deals with showing your significant other that you love and appreciate them for being in your life,” said sophomore Rebecca Marsich.

“Some believe Valentine’s is just a commercial-type holiday for companies to make a profit,” said Ivanoff. “But, if you set that aside, the holiday is a reason for some to show that they care. It’s for couples who get to have a break from the routine and spark up their passion for each other.”

Whether you’re sitting on your couch alone, eating popcorn soaked from the tears shed from “The Notebook” or enjoying a romantic, candle-lit dinner with your love-muffin, Valentine’s Day is a special occasion dedicated to the idealistic view of “love” If you’re single, enjoy the freedom and the excuse to indulge. If you’re in a happy relationship, remind the person you’re with that you love them. 

Have a great Valentine’s Day.

Filed Under: Arts and Life

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