Why Do We Celebrate Valentine's Day?

Why Do We Celebrate Valentine's Day?

With Valentine's Day coming right around the corner, you're probably wondering, what should I get my significant other? Or why is chocolate so damn expensive? Or even, why do we have this stupid, overly commercialized holiday in the first place?

If you were mostly thinking about that last question, this article is for you.

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St. Valentine was an interesting human… well, some of them were. The word "Valentinus," which is where Valentine came from, means "worthy, strong, or powerful," which means it was a pretty common name during this time. Because of this, there are about a dozen recorded historical figures with the name St. Valentine.

And, Valentine's Day actually celebrates a few of them. The holiday that takes place on February 14th is set to honor St. Valentine of Rome, who died around 270 A.D. (History). He is officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as the St. Valentine we are celebrating today, but his identity has been questioned by various Popes and scholars.

The real Valentine we celebrate was probably a Roman priest. Some scholars believe he did, in fact, live during 270 A.D., but others believe this happened as late as the 1400s. The story is still the same: an emperor named Claudias decided that Christianity sucked, and did not want any Christian weddings performed in Rome.

He also prohibited the marriage of young people, fearing that married soldiers would not fight as bravely as unmarried soldiers, due to fear of what would happen to their families. Valentine decided to marry people in secret because he believed that getting married was a right everyone should have (Valentine started using #loveislove before it was cool).

Once he was found, he was tortured and imprisoned. While there are many legends that have been told about his time in prison, the most famous is one involving one of his judges. This judge had a daughter who was blind; Valentine prayed for the girl to be healed and it worked so well that the judge sentencing him decided to convert to Christianity!

He was sentenced to a three-part execution that involved beating, stoning, and beheading. It is said that the last words he wrote were at the end of a letter to the young girl he cured of blindness; he signed the note "from your Valentine." (CBN)

The man that is officially recognized as St. Valentine by the Roman Catholic Church is a jack of all trades. In the afterlife, Saints are required to continue to serve living souls. St. Valentine's official duties are to look over the lives of lovers, as one would expect; he also looks over beekeepers, epileptics, and those who are traveling. It is unclear why or how these jobs became his responsibility, but I would like to thank him for watching out for bees (and their keepers).

So, why does St. Valentine get a day? What happened to all the other cool Saints who did equally nice things and got equally beheaded? Why can't we just spread love and enjoy chocolate on every day of the year?

Well, historians believe that Geoffrey Chaucer might be to blame. Around 1375, Chaucer wrote a poem linking "courtly love," to a celebration of St. Valentine. Before this poem, there was no association between these two things. The text of the poem states that February 14th is "the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate"

"For this was sent on Seynt Valentine's day

Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate"

So, a random white guy might be the reason we have decided to commercialize love. That doesn't mean we have to fall for this BS. Instead, we could celebrate Valentine's Day every day. Why spoil your lover one day a year when you could buy them teddy bears and chocolate hearts when you miss them or think they could use a boost? Or, you could work on making yourself your valentine, and participate in new ways to love yourself every day.

Don't forget to check your local Walmart for some sweet deals on February 15th!

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23 People Describe "Love" In One Word

The limit does not exist.
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With Valentine's Day around the corner, we all know that "love" is in the air and cupid is getting ready to point his arrows.

Each year when this time comes around, a little bit after the holidays we begin to see the red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate fill the aisles of grocery stores, along with giant cards and fluffy teddy bears. It reminds us of roses and love and for those Pisces people like myself, birthdays. But even though we all associate one singular word with a holiday, we all have our own unique meaning and interpretation of it.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes and variations. For such a strong word, it has endless meanings. For one universal understanding of a feeling, We all interpret it differently. We feel it in our own way and express it differently.

Despite the differences when it comes to the world "love" we all share one thing--the limitlessness. Love is limitless. We have the power to love unconditionally. And endlessly. The ability to love anyone or anything we want? We have it.

That is why when someone asked me to "Describe love in one word" and I replied, "limitless," I was curious as to how others would respond because there is simply no limit to the answer.

Hearing the responses of these wonderful people I have asked to describe "love" with one word proved to me that not only do we all experience it differently, but there are endless ways to describe it.

"Home (because you feel like you belong there)" - Helen, 21

"Warm" - Sarah, 19

"Happiness" - Krista, 21"

"Unconditional" - Brianna, 21

"Passion" - John, 20

"Everlasting" - Mikayla, 20

"Family" - Alfie, 20

"Laughing" - Sofia, 20

"Beautiful" - Dee, 20

"Passion" - Gina, 20

"Worth waiting for" - Sonja, 26

"Loyalty" - Miranda 19

"Special" - Jake A, 19

"Timeless" - Rob, 21

"Happiness" - Emily, 21

"Mysterious" - Jake C, 21

"Appreciation" - Jess R, 21

"Evolving" - Ryan, 20

"Magical" - Corey, 20

"Commitment" - Brianna P, 21

"Wild" - Allegra, 28

"Powerful" - Jess, 20

"Pain" - Kevin, 22

"Putting someone's needs and happiness before your own" - Courtney, 20

"Simple" - Amanda, 21

"Overcoming" - Jess B, 20

"Passionate" - Steph, 20

"Selfless" - Kyra, 20

This Valentine's Day, no matter if you are single, taken, or somewhere in the middle, remember that love has no limit. No matter the person you give it to or how much love you give, there is no limit. Even on the difficult days, love with all your heart because we all know the world could use a little more love.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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Whether Your Perpetually Single Or Married AF, Here Are 5 Easy Things To Do This Valentine's Day

Make the perfect day even more special.

JBoyd
JBoyd
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The day that is full of love, smiles, and red faces. Valentine's Day! This is such a beautiful day because there are many people showcasing their love for one another, or people embracing to tell their biggest secret to someone (their crush). This day is one of my favorite holidays and I love how people make others feel especially special on this day. There are many things to do on Valentine's Day, but if you're single or in a relationship, I have the perfect things to do.

1. The Stars.

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This may seem corny, but taking the time to sit outside at 7 p.m. to look at the stars is lovely. Having that time to communicate with your significant other is relaxing and peaceful. This is a great way to enjoy each other's company and to cherish a moment of relaxation.

2. Yum, Num, Yum.

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Of course, I was going to tell you to go out to eat. Taking that time to eat dinner with your significant other is important. You can have that moment in time to just express why you love that person and you can do it over a great dinner. If you're not feeling anything fancy, choose a different type of scenery. Instead of prime ribs and asparagus, go get some good 'ole fashioned wings, ribs or a juicy burger. Step outside of the box.

3. Game Night.

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Having a game night with your significant other is not traditional at all, that's why you should do it. Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Dance Dance Revolution. These are all great games to play with your significant other. Having that time to laugh and relieve stress with one another can really help you mentally. It may seem childish, but it is something different and is not a part of the status quo.

4. If you're single,  mingle.

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For all my single souls, it's okay not being in a relationship on Valentine's Day. There're still things for you to do. You can go out with your other single friends an enjoy their company. You can even try speed dating. Movie night by yourself isn't too bad neither, I've done it before and it is quite peaceful. Treating your mom, dad or siblings is not ideal, but it will make their day. Valentine's Day can be spent with anyone, not just someone you have "feelings" for.

5. MOVIES!

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There will probably be love movie marathons playing on TV the entire week of Valentine's Day. Enjoy a "chick flick" with your girls or guys. I know it may seem lame, but movie night is the best type of night to spend with family & friends. One of my favorite movies is Valentine's Day. It's such an awesome movie that focuses on a range of people and their Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is the time to show everyone you care for that you love them. Whether you show them in small gestures or big gestures. You can give people thank you cards or send them a basket of edible arrangement. This is the day of love. Let this be the day that you embrace love, in every aspect that you can embrace it in.

JBoyd
JBoyd

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