Is Valentine’s Day overrated?
For decades, the 14th of February has been celebrated as the famous Valentine’s Day. Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the second-largest card giving day after Christmas? Linked to the themes of love, cupid and chocolate, it is still argued by a minority to be just a normal day. But wait, what is Valentine’s Day?
There are two bizarre stories about the origination of Valentine’s Day. The first is about Lupercalia which was a rowdy Roman festival on February 15th where men stripped naked and spanked young spinsters to increase their fertility. And then, of course, the more believable story about St Valentine who defiled Emperor Claudius’s ban on marriage by marrying young couples resulting in his execution on the famous date.
What about Cupid?
According to the Romans, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, depicted with bows and arrows to pierce hearts and cast a spell of love. And ironically, Venus’s favorite flower is the red rose.
People love love. The 14th of February is celebrated in all parts of the world. Makeup, chocolate, jewelry and other brands use this day to market their red and love themed products generating over triple of their profits.
“It’s just a normal day”
A lot of people question why the death of St Valentine should even be celebrated. They believe that both ethically and religiously celebrating St Valentine is wrong and immoral. Others, however, view Valentine’s day to be a moneymaking strategy for companies. Over 35 million heart-shaped chocolates are sold in America each year on Valentine’s Day.
To those that see it as a normal day, they believe that you do not need a specific day to show your loved ones love and affection. Everyday love and affection are seen as key aspects to any successful relationship, thus the 14th of February does not match this theory. It therefore creates financial pressure to match both the society and the partner’s expectation for this one day.
Other studies have shown that women view Valentine’s Day as more important than men.
Others argue that if it so important, then why is it not a public holiday?
The Social media effect
According to research, there is a direct link between social media influence and Valentine’s Day. Over 2.7 billion people in the world have access to social media. Social media is known to influence and impact people’s mindsets both positively and negatively. So, if you adore Valentine’s Day, there is a 40% chance that social media somehow influenced you.
Challenges like “shoot your shot”, which encourages people to have confidence and to stop waiting on a miracle, have all originated from social media platforms e.g. Twitter.
To conclude, everyone has different views about this day. Some see it as a normal day while others treasure it as more special. To go back to our first question on whether Valentine’s Day is overrated, I think the simple answer is to say everyone indeed has different views and it is an argument often lost.
But whatever your view may be, we hope you enjoy it.
Be sure to watch the Valentines Day special on NMU campus crush