Valentine’s Day

Some information on Valentine's Day

Thalia Blodgett, Journalist

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A few common gift on Valentine’s Day. Image from: www.cnbc.com

   Kisses, hugs, and hearts, why do we have a holiday to celebrate love? There must be some reasoning behind the starting of this holiday, but what is it?

   Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14 because a pagan fertility ritual was held in February each year. The Pope abolished this ritual, proclaiming February 14 Saint Valentine’s Day. Elementary school teachers usually have students bring snacks, drinks, and Valentine’s cards. Common Valentine’s gifts are flowers, chocolate boxes, and stuffed animals, and jewelry. But have you ever thought about why?

   On February 15, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival. When being introduced to Christianity, the holiday was then moved to February 14. After being given the name Valentine’s Day, somewhere along the way, it was represented by romance. There is no true reason why Valentine’s Day is a day of love. The romance on Valentine’s Day may have come from the medieval belief that birds mating season starts on this day.

   Valentine’s got the name from a famous saint. St. Valentine was a priest and a well known third century Roman saint. Most believe that he was the reason that Valentine’s day is a holiday.

   We give roses because it’s the flower that represents love. Students in elementary give cards because of a poem that Charles the Duke of Orléans wrote to his wife in 1415. “My very gentle Valentine, since for me you were born too soon, and I for you was born too late. God forgives him who has estranged me from you for the whole year. I am already sick of love, my very gentle Valentine.” We give chocolate because for centuries it was known as a token of appreciation.

   Roses come in many different colors but each color has its own meaning. Red roses reflect beauty, perfection, or unconscious beauty. Pink roses represent words like admiration, gentleness, grace, gladness, joy and sweetness. The pink rose can also mean happiness, gracefulness, and admiration. Yellow roses create warm feelings, bring happiness, and can tell someone the joy and friendship you have with them. White roses show innocence, purity and charm. Both salmon and orange roses indicate enthusiasm, excitement and desire. Lavender roses are a way to say “I love you,” an elegant way to say thank you is to give peach colored roses. Cream roses show both charm and thoughtfulness, and also as a way to say thank you. Lastly, green roses represent life, abundant growth, and constant renewal of life and energy.

   A large amount of money is spent on Valentine’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, the total spending amount on the holiday is expected to top $18.2 billion. That means an average of about $136.57 per person is spent on cards, candy, flowers, etc. This is the amount spent only in the United States.

   Most Valentine’s Day gifts come with a price, some larger than others. Twenty percent of consumers are expected to buy jewelry. Jewelry is the most popular gift on Valentine’s Day with an average spending amount of $4.3 billion. The most common flower given on this holiday are roses. Around 250 million roses are produced for this holiday. $2 billion is what’s expected to be spent on flowers. Candy and chocolate alone has an average spending amount of $1.7 billion. About 190 million greeting cards are exchanged on Valentine’s Day. Americans are expected to spend $1 billion on cards.

Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, there’s a lot of interesting information surrounding it. Perhaps this will change how you view the holiday and the gifts you’re given.

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Valentine’s Day