Monday, February 13, 2017
Happy Valentine’s Day: What is the True Significance Behind This Holiday?
"As-Salaam-Alaikum," the Arabic greeting meaning "Peace be unto you"
With Valentine’s Day being less than 24-hours away, television commercials, advertisements and social media sources are filled with all types of last minute ideas to express your love to that special one. With so many Valentine’s cards, boxes of boxes of assorted chocolates and a variety of flowers to choose from, this holiday has become extremely commercialized and expensive.
Synonymously hiding under the premise of love and romance or lack thereof, Valentine’s Day encourages couples, lovers and love ones to put a value on the love they share between themselves or unintentionally makes others remember the love they have lost. Whether it someone you are longing for in your past, loving someone today, or someone you are waiting on in your future; Valentine’s Day has been promoted to us as the day we should celebrate the pure “essence” of love; but what is its historical significance?
Nowadays, the significance of Valentine’s Day is that it is the first major consumer holiday of the year. Ana Serafin Smith, a National Retail Federation (NRF) staff writer, presented statistical data that stated that in 2016, 54.8% of Americans celebrated this romantic holiday. Also, Smith estimated that 19.7 billion dollars were spent to lavish our love ones with gifts (…that they probably really did not need or want). It was about a billion dollar increase from what Americans spent in 2015 which was 18.9 billion dollars.
In 2016, the average American spent about $146.84 on Valentine’s Day. The breakdown: $1.6 billion was spent on candy, $1.9 billion was spent on flowers, $12 billion was spent on greeting cards and $4.4 billion was spent on jewelry.
Smith’s publicized press release, illustrated NRF’s $136.57 this year with the estimated t
The Catholic Church has canonized at least three different Saint Valentines and legend has it that they all died martyred saints. Some believe that Valentine’s Day began as a religious holiday to commemorate Saint Valentine.
While some have been made to believe that Valentine’s Day is rooted in the commemoration of Saint Valentine’s death, others have argued that the “Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia” indicated staff writers at History.com. The pagan holiday is “celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus,” reported staff writers at History.com.
According to staff writers at History.com, “Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.” The intersection between Valentine’s Day and love came about during the Middle Ages. During this time, the sentiments of the French and the English that the date February 14 was associated with start of mating seasons for birds, “which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance,” clarified History.com’s staff writers.
History.com Staff. (2009). History of Valentine’s Day. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day.
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