Is Valentine’s Day nothing more than a sales pitch?


Julia Arriaga

The celebration of Valentine’s day leaves one to question what this holiday is really about.

Julia Arriaga, Staff Writer

Valentines day. A fun filled romanticized holiday. 

Whether your Valentine’s day is spent indulging in chocolates and various candies for yourself, or giving a note to your special someone, the holiday in mid-February always is memorable. It’s extremely hard to ignore with bright neon billboards, and sales galore on chocolates and hallmark cards. I personally resent this holiday as a cheap sales pitch from capitalism. 

Valentine’s day’s true origin is one of the biggest holiday mysteries of the modern world. No one knows where this commercial romantic holiday truly started.  One of the most common theories is that it evolved from the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was held in a similar time to Valentines day, and was not to be beat. This Roman festival celebrated fertility and the beginnings of spring. These festivities include blind dating pairs, and the murder of goats and dogs, which were then used to beat any woman who wished. This was barbaric, but surprisingly women believed that these pelts would give them stronger fertility. It was often consensual, and the women of the time would seek out these pelts during the festival. 

This festival was barred by the Catholic church during 494 CE. They moved a similar holiday in its place though it is unsure whether it was Valentines day or The Christian Rites of Purification (also known as Candlemas).

The blow up of a small, unknown holiday, just for commercialism isn’t a new idea. Take Cinco De Mayo for an example, this holiday is entirely based upon a small Mexican victory against France, and is blown completely out of proportion. In America there are sales on cars, and special candy made for an American audience. It baffles me on how corporations get away with this. 

Valentine’s day has become a part of pop culture with people splurging on candies and modern media romanticizing this holiday like a big advert. It leaves one to question what this holiday is really all about.