According to the article Valentine’s Day on, the history behind the Valentine’s Day holiday and Saint Valentine is a huge mystery.

Although the origins of the holiday are unknown, it is said that the holiday became known as a day for romance back in the Middle Ages, when the French and English noticed that February 14 was the time that began the mating season of birds, the article states. It was also noted that the first ever written valentines date back to the 1400s.

The article says that the first noted valentine was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, but the use of printed valentine cards began to take over handwritten love notes or poems in the 1900’s when printing technology began to flourish.

As I’ve heard from many people, Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday because you should show the ones you love that you appreciate them every day—or because it just reminds single people that they are single. I completely agree with these ideas, but I do think the holiday has potential to be something good— like it once was.  I feel as the years go on, Valentine’s Day becomes more and more materialized or commercialized. It is not celebrated as much as it once was, which gives it a bad reputation.

Eric Jedd / Equinox Staff

Eric Jedd / Equinox Staff

I remember back in elementary school, everyone used to bring in valentines for everyone in the class (I do not even know if they still do this at schools). It used to make everyone feel good about themselves, knowing their classmates cared about them. I think that single people are no longer told that they are cared for by someone so it makes them bitter, dreading this day’s arrival. But, single people should not feel bad about not having a valentine.

I feel like everyone I’ve talked to who is in a relationship says they “do not do much” on Valentine’s Day.

Nowadays, it seems the way the holiday is celebrated is by couples purchasing gifts for each other—it’s as if it’s Christmas or something.

Now, you go into stores and not only are the aisles decorated for the holiday, but they have sales and specials going on.

Commercials run for the holiday as well, showing specials and telling consumers what to buy for their loved ones or significant others. It just seems to me that people are not doing anything from the heart these days. They are simply going out and buying something unnecessary, because that is the way we now function.

Valentine’s Day is not a holiday only celebrated solely in the United States. It is celebrated in many countries all over the world. Many of the celebrations that take place in other countries are far less commercialized and materialistic than our own.

The story entitled, How Other Countries Celebrate Valentine’s Day on explains the traditional celebrations of Valentine’s Day.

In Japan, women buy chocolates for their men and wait all month for their gift (usually white chocolate) in return.

In Canada, balls and parties are thrown, while in South Africa and India they celebrate with parties all week long. The article states that in Scotland the tradition is that the first person seen on Valentine’s Day becomes your valentine even if you do not know them.

Lastly, in China, couples are said to visit a “matchmaker” temple and pray for happiness in their marriages and single people wish for luck in finding love.


Shannon Flynn can be contacted at

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