Death to Valentine’s Day

By Dan Hayes, News Editor


What if we just stopped? What if we as a society decided to stop buying cards, roses, teddy bears with hearts, and boxes of chocolate—superficial trinkets.  By the time you are reading this there will be little time left to prepare for your Valentine’s Day celebration. But maybe you shouldn’t celebrate this time around.

The whole idea of this holiday is ridiculous and utterly stupid. I mean why is Valentine’s Day even on the 14th? Why not take our sweethearts out to a nice dinner on Feb 12th or 10th or 28th? Any day will do really. Even history, affirms that there is no significant reason to celebrate Valentine’s day on February 14th.

In the 3rd century A.D., The festival of Lupercalia was a roman fertility celebration. According to Arnie Seipel of NPR, “The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.” The women believed this would make them fertile and lined up for the privilege of participating.

The Catholic Pope Gelasius I, with the aim of cleaning up the naked drunken revelry associated with the pagan holiday, chose to consolidate and Christianize the festival of Lupercalia. It would now be celebrated on a day in mid-February, Feb 14th and dedicated to St. Valentine.

A saint that had no correlation to the meaning of Lupercalia save, his death on February 14th. So, it can be extrapolated that actual Valentine’s Day bears no meaning historically.

One should be aware that the celebration Valentine’s Day—the gifting of a homemade molten lava cake to share with one’s significant other is actually a superficial allusion to the bloody festival of Lupercalia that didn’t even resemble anything that we would recognize until the 16th-17th century, when Shakespeare and Chaucer began to romanticize the holiday.

A lot of you will focus your ire on the corporations capitalizing on the spending spree, though your frustration is misguided. If nobody will buy it then nobody will sell it. Don’t buy into Valentine’s Day. Why maintain the ritual? If you are in love, why can’t you celebrate the object of your affection every day of the year. If you are single why must you be publicly reminded of that fact once a year, on Feb 14th? It should stop.

All that aside, I will still be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. I have a little something planned for very own special someone. Though, I still think the holiday is ridiculous and utterly stupid. But to borrow a platitude from the late, great Mitch Hedberg, “I know someone that would be really upset to hear me say that.”