Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
Bryanne Hornung, Front Page Editor
Valentine’s Day comes every Feb. 14, but why do we celebrate it? Why has it become such a touchy subject to those not in a relationship? Personally, I don’t think Valentine’s Day should be considered a holiday, and I’m in a committed relationship. There shouldn’t just be one day out of the year that is special to you and your significant other. You should express your love every day.
Plan surprises throughout the year, maybe even little ones throughout the week. People expect to get things for Valentine’s Day, but it would be more personal and special if you had your own day.
Now, maybe I feel like this because I’m not one to follow the crowd, and I’m not trying to dis people who do celebrate the holiday. In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, The United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy, and Japan. What I’m actually getting at is that we have a holiday, and most people probably don’t even know the history behind it.
The legend of Valentine’s Day has many different variations, but there is one that stands out. Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that single men made better soldiers than those with families, so he outlawed marriages for young men. Valentine, realizing the emperor’s injustice against love, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius found this betrayal, he ordered that Valentine be sentenced to death.
If today’s Valentine’s Day were a holiday for secret love — for anyone to be happy without the fear of persecution — than I’d say that it would be a day to celebrate. I do think the idea of Valentine’s Day now is sweet, but for couples to just go all-out one night of the year, I think it’s kind of overrated unless the day is their anniversary.
At Cedar Crest, we talk about woman’s empowerment, and this holiday just brings us back the 1950s housewives version of ourselves.
Additionally, this holiday has now turned into a self-loathing day for the lonely hearts. Everyone that is single turns into an anti-relationship banshee that wants to rid the world of love. I know so many people that hate themselves because they don’t have a “man” in their lives, and all these emotions are shared during this capitalistic holiday, where companies jack up the prices of chocolate because they know we will buy it. We will either get it as a present, or if we’re alone, we buy it for ourselves to sulk.
If we could just celebrate love in general, then it would bring an even bigger message, like back in elementary school when we would bring a valentine for everyone in our class. We should celebrate loving everyone not just our significant others. We should surprise friends or people we don’t even hang out with just to let them know they are awesome. I didn’t buy my girlfriend a valentine, and she was more than alright with it.
Personally, I don’t think we should celebrate Valentine’s Day. I think you should want to buy your significant other flowers or chocolate, and not just because it’s a holiday. People should celebrate their anniversaries the way they celebrate this holiday. If people want to celebrate their love on more than one day a year, then do a surprise month-iversary. You’d be amazed what surprising someone can do for the relationship or friendship. Don’t wait to show your love, do it every day.