Is Valentine’s Day Important?

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Andrea Fabian, Staff Writer

A holiday catered towards couples, and leaving single people to mourn their love lives, Valentine’s Day undergoes criticism every February. Seen by most as a useless and questionable holiday, the debate on whether or not it’s truly important is one that’s been going on for years.

Not having any romantic significance until the 14th century, the day does have many vague origins. According to Britannica.com, the holiday was thought to have come into popularity after the execution of a known martyr named Valentine, a priest who married couples without his emperor’s approval. Throughout the 15 and 17 hundreds, Valentine’s Day developed new traditions, becoming a more and more commercialized holiday in countries across the globe.

Until the 19th century, it was a holiday mostly reserved for romantic lovers, tethered towards couples more than anything else. Towards the end of the century, however, people began to express more than just romantic love. It grew to signify platonic and familial love, too. Now, it’s become an occasion for all types of love, each one celebrated by people throughout the world. 

Many people believe that Valentine’s Day is harmful towards relationships, putting an excessive amount of pressure on couples while also materializing love and demeaning its value. And this view isn’t inherently wrong. Having one set day to show your love towards a significant other by showering them with gifts can be very harmful, as it puts a limit on what love really is. However, when a relationship is built upon mutual love and trust, the meaning behind the day and the extra affection doesn’t become distorted by societal standards. Acts that take place on Valentine’s Day aren’t required, nor are they limited to just the holiday. 

While it’s seen as unimportant and has become a day with many different standards, Valentine’s Day holds different meanings for everyone who celebrates. To some, the day is just like any average day, while it’s become something revered to others. Lacking the cultural or religious significance of many bigger holidays, Valentine’s Day is a day for interpretation. There are no true lines set for what is and isn’t allowed, just the weight of society. So, the question of whether or not Valentine’s Day is important goes unanswered, because that’s not something for someone else to decide. The celebration is a choice, not a requirement, and the love that is celebrated is up to the individual who chooses to celebrate.