Valentine’s Day is the holiday of candy, cards and spending time with the ones you love, but where does this tradition come from?

Valentine’s Day has roots in Christian and Roman history, following the story of Saint Valentine. According to the Catholic Church, St. Valentine helped heal poor and sick people in Rome, and was criticized by the government at the time for doing so. Valentine’s existence is debated among many historians, but the Catholic Church confirms that there was at least one saint by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. Some historians believe that the reason we celebrate in the middle of February is to commemorate St. Valentine’s death and funeral. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages when the day became associated with love and romance and through centuries this tradition became the holiday that we know today. 

It was in the 1900s that Valentine’s Day took off. Printed cards became widely popular and available, causing the tradition to grow across the world. Valentine’s Day is the second most popular holiday for cards behind only Christmas, according to History.com. Today, nearly every store is filled with candy, cards and other gifts after the big holiday season. It seems that every character from every family-friendly movie or show is represented by a little card or candy wrapper. Any child can find their favorite character to send to their classmates and friends.    

“Valentine’s Day should be about who you love, regardless of your relationship,” freshman Zack Essex said.

He enjoys the holiday and celebrates it by spending time with his family, usually going out to dinner together.  

Fellow freshman Chris Thompson is neutral stating that the holiday is “alright, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing too special.” Thompson added that he too usually spends time with his family, and his mother especially who always gets him chocolate.

Senior Emma McGrath says that “it’s just a day of love and telling the people I care about that I appreciate them.” McGrath likes to celebrate “Galentine’s Day” by grabbing food and spending time with her girl friends. This year she plans to go out to dinner with a friend and get a new plant for her room.  

I am indifferent about the tradition of Valentine’s Day. It was always a fun day in elementary school; classmates passed candy and notes to each other, and everyone was happy. Now, it seems that the commercialism of the holiday overshadows its true meaning. Many have become too concerned about price tags and material items to the point that the spirit of the holiday is almost forgotten. I believe that the spirit of Valentine’s Day is to spread love and happiness through kind actions, not necessarily gifts and material items. I love spending time with my family, but this year the holiday will be a bit different, because it’s the first year I won’t be physically with them.    

However you feel about the holiday, I hope that you enjoy it! Spread love and happiness to the people that you care about. Happy Valentine’s Day!