Valentine’s Day: lovely or tacky?

Snoopy lays in the most popular Valentines Day symbol feeling distraught over his feelings towards the holiday. Photo retrieved from DeviantArt.

Snoopy lays in the most popular Valentine’s Day symbol feeling distraught over his feelings towards the holiday. Photo retrieved from DeviantArt.

Audra Gullquist, Layout and Design Editor

Over 145 million Valentine’s Day cards get sent out in the United states each year. The tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day by giving flowers and gifts to loved ones dates all the way back to the 17th century. However, the holiday is not loved by everyone. Some view the holiday as cliche and tacky. 

Opinion Editor of Allegheny Campus News Kaleigh White is so passionate about her hatred for Valentine’s Day that she even wrote an article titled “Valentine’s Day is tacky and useless.” She has many critiques on the holiday. She mentioned that the color scheme was tacky and that red and pink do not go well together. She stated that the color combination “makes it come across as gaudy and tacky, and [White] cannot stand the gaudy red and pink heart decorations that cover every inch of the seasonal area in stores, especially when it seeps into [her] personal chocolate-buying habits.” She also questions the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. What is it that we are celebrating?

There are two theories of how the holiday originated. The first theory is that Valentine’s Day was first established in AD 496 AD by Pope Gelasius. It was first called “The Feast of Saint Valentine” and was created to honor Saint Valentine of Rome who died on February 14, 269 AD. However it is theorized that Christians placed the “Feast of Saint Valentine” in mid-February in order to take attention away from Lupercalia. Lupercalia is a Pagan holiday in which sacrifices were made to the Pagans Gods and then names of young women were placed into a bowl for eligible bachelors to draw. The couples usually got married afterwards. The second theory is that Valentine’s Day was created to honor a priest that secretly married a young couple after marriage was outlawed by Emperor Claudius. White wrote that “[w]hatever way you slice it, it is very apparent that these original reasons for celebration are no longer common knowledge, and the “true meaning” of Valentine’s Day are all but lost to modern-day society.”

Gifts are largely associated with Valentine’s Day. People in the US spend about $196.31 on average every Valentine’s Day. Almost every store advertises and stocks red and pink festive items. The holiday has become very commercial and based around consumerism. With the expectations to give your significant other expensive gifts or take them to a fancy dinner, it can cause financial stress. This can also leave single people feeling depressed, alone, and giftless. Valentine’s Day should be about showing those you love how much they mean to you. It should not be about falling into the societal norm of spending all your savings on tacky heart shaped jewelry, stuffed animals and boxes of chocolate. Tell those in your life how much you love them this Valentine’s Day instead of spending obnoxious amounts of money on presents or dreading the fact that you don’t have a valentine. You don’t need a significant other to spend the special day expressing love and gratitude.

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