Valentine’s Day gets a lot of heat every year. It seems to be a holiday that people have a lot of mixed feelings about.
“I don’t love Valentine’s Day,” junior in the College of Arts and Sciences Jordan Burgmeier said. “I think Valentine’s Day puts pressure on anyone, in a relationship or not, to go out and have some sort of extra special night, which can be a good or a bad thing.”
“It seems like a time where people feel like they have to do something for their significant other, and if they don’t, it’s frowned upon,” Caity Hardenburgh, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said. “But then it makes you feel all cute and bubbly and all that mushy stuff too.”
Regardless of how someone feels, there are a lot of misconceptions about the holiday. Here are just some of the myths surrounding Valentine’s Day.
Myth: Valentine’s Day was invented by greeting card companies.
People who have a strong distaste for the holiday love to share this common mistake with people who choose to celebrate the day. However, Valentine’s Day and the cards associated with it existed before the commercialization of greeting cards happened. In a Washington Post article by Mandy Len Catron, it was noted that people of the Victorian Era were known for giving handmade cards, gifts and notes in honor of the holiday. The commercialization didn’t come until later. Hallmark, the famous card-making company, wasn’t created until 1910.
Myth: St. Valentine is the reason we celebrate the holiday.
There is no widely accepted story of St. Valentine and why he became associated with the holiday. The Catholic Church recognizes three different Valentines as saints, each with a story vaguely related to the holiday. It was also the church that set the date of the holiday back in the fifth century. Others argue the holiday stems from a pagan festival, Lupercalia, which took place in the middle of February, according to History.com.
Myth: Valentine’s Day is only a holiday for couples.
While it is a holiday based on love, it doesn’t have to be love for someone in a romantic way. It can be a valentine for a friend, a family member or someone you admire.
And of course, Galentine’s Day, a celebration of girl friends, was created for those who do not have a significant other.
“I’ve always thought Valentine’s Day was a silly holiday because people should celebrate love every day,” Maya Mathews, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences said. “But I still think it is a nice excuse for people to do an extra something for someone they love, whether it be a significant other or a family member.”