Valentine’s Day Stems from Myths

According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s day was created in 500 BCE/AD, to commemorate Saint Valentine. There is not much known about this saint or the work he has done, all that is known for certain is his name and burial location. For this reason, Pope Paul VI had the holiday removed from the Roman Calendar of Saints. But celebration of love and affection has continued to exist throughout the world. There are a few myths about Saint Valentine, the most common having no relation to love. According to this one, Roman Emperor Claudius II persecuted Valentine because he was Christian rather than the more accepted belief at the time, paganism. Claudius liked Valentine, and tried to get him to convert to paganism, so his life could be spared. Valentine refused, and actually tried to convert Claudius to Christianity, which led to his execution. Another myth relating these two people is that Claudius ordered young men to remain single, because he believed that they were better soldiers than married men. Valentine resisted this act and performed secret marriage ceremonies. A myth which relates to the first one is that Valentine wrote the first Valentine card himself, the night before his execution. The card read “From your Valentine,” and was sent to the jailer’s daughter whom he befriended and healed from blindness. She is thought to have been his beloved. The presence of love and affection may have been fabricated into this holiday, but it still gives the economy a big boost. The people of the United States spend a total of about $20 billion on Valentine’s Day related products and services. Businesses of all types benefit from this day. Flower shops raise the prices on roses, candy companies produce special lines just for this day, jewelry companies see an increase in sales and restaurants get booked solid. Junior Samantha Castle “love[s] the candy hearts that come out for Valentine’s Day.” But surprisingly the “spy” industry benefits as well. People who suspect their significant other realize that there’s a good chance they will pay them a visit on Valentine ’s Day. GPS tracking products have a 141 percent increase in sales during this time of the year, and private detectives also reap the benefits. Many people receive gifts, “Valentines,” on Valentine’s Day, but there are also many people who do not. This causes disappointment, which leads to resentment of the holiday. This resentment is probably what has lead to people saying it is a “commercial” holiday, as an insult. Really, being labeled commercial is a compliment. Money is poured into the economy, supporting people and their families. We are not forced to give Valentines to others, but many often do. And rather then spend the time to create a thoughtful homemade Valentine, they rush to the store. We need to end our resentment of the holiday for being to commercial, because frankly most holidays these days are, and start appreciating the boost it gives to our economy.