Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...
Updated: Nov 9, 2022
Valentine’s Day…A holiday that makes some teens cringe and others glow. The celebrations are as diverse as the messages on candy hearts. A stroll around campus gets a wide variety of traditions:
Sophomore Darin Boulorian recognizes the holiday “with my family and a steak dinner.”
“I’m hoping he’ll get me flowers, and then we’ll go to Laguna after school for some takeout sushi and grab a hammock on a tree to watch the sunset together,” said Junior Alya Podwell. “And after all that, maybe we’ll walk around for a bit after and grab some ice cream.”
Tenth grader Meg Kerby said, “I’m with any of my friends who are not in a relationship and usually do something fun like going out to dinner, or the beach, or just hanging out.”
So where did Valentine’s Day come from? Why do we celebrate? Is there a right way to recognize it?
The mystery of who was the actual “Saint Valentine” is always discussed, with conflicting historical notes on three different Roman men who may have been the original inspiration for the legend of Saint Valentine. One thing they all have in common, they are connected to helping those in need, romance, and eventually letters.
By the Middle Ages, St. Valentine was one of the most popular Saints in history, and soon the middle of February holiday was established – possibly to commemorate St. Valentine’s death and maybe as a nod to the annual fertility festival Lupercalia held in Rome during the same month. Around that time, February 14 was declared the formal holiday, as officials then noted that it was the start of bird mating season in France and England.
The idea of a romantic holiday grew from there, with Valentine cards and letters starting to appear by the 1400s. Cupid is likely a reinvention of the Greek god of love, Eros, who used golden arrows to spark love or encourage discontent.
The holiday is widely celebrated – far beyond United States’ borders – in Mexico, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and France. Throughout the 1700s and early 1800s, friends and lovers use the month of February to send letters and poems expressing their love. The “Mother of the Valentine” Esther A. Howland created the lavish lace, ribbon and colorful creations we think of today. By the 1900s, it was common to see ready-made Valentine’s cards to make it easier for one to send their love to friends near and far over the February 14 holiday.
There are over 145 million greeting cards sent around the world each year in an expression of love in honor of Valentine’s Day.
So what do you think Titans? Stick to modern history, and just send a pre-printed card? Or, dig deeper and find the romance in a personal poem, on a handmade Valentine decorated to perfection this Valentine’s Day!
*historical content from History of Valentine’s Day, A&E Television Networks, Dec. 22, 2009