By: HAYLEY FOWLER
Total spending for Valentine’s Day will reach $18.6 billion according to the National Retail Federation. Valentine enthusiasts will spend an average of $130.97 on gifts for that special someone. Valentine’s Day celebrations have changed significantly over the years from pagan tradition to Single’s Awareness Day. The attitude and traditions on Valentine’s Day have changed significantly over the years.
The beginnings of Valentine’s Day are a mystery. There are several different theories concerning the origins of this holiday. The first is the theory of the Catholic Church. According to history.com there was a priest named Valentine who served in Rome during the third century. The emperor at the time decided that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied the emperor and performed marriages for young lovers in secret. He was put to death for his actions. One legend suggests that Valentine sent the first valentine during his imprisonment. During his imprisonment he sent a letter to a young girl he fell in love with and signed “From your Valentine”, a phrase commonly used today.
Another theory suggests that Valentine’s Day is actually founded from the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. According to history.com Lupercalia was a fertility festival celebrated on February 15. Roman priests would sacrifice goats and then use the hides to slap women believing this would make the women fertile in the upcoming year. The young women would also place their names in a big urn, and the cities bachelors would choose a name and become paired with that woman “behind closed doors” for the year. This often led to marriage.
How do you spend Valentine’s Day? With love notes like the priest Valentine or do you celebrate “behind closed doors” like the pagan celebration Lupercalia?
“I like it because any reason at all for people to express more love for each other, to each other, and even at each other makes a better world for all,” Student Caitlin Hardegree said.
It seems that many American’s agree with Hardegree. Americans exchange 151 million cards on Valentine’s Day according to cnn.com.
While some enjoy the love celebrated on Valentine’s Day others feel differently.
“It’s stressful. Either you’re upset that you’re single, or you can’t find the right gift,” Student Rachel Ellis said.
“Valentine’s Day makes me wanna crawl into a hole! I think I’ll hide out, let the mascara run down my face, shove my face with cookie cake, listen to sad music, not get on social media, and punch a wall on the 14th,” Student Savannah Browder said.