Valentine’s Day maintains significance

Is love really in the air? What is the big deal with Valentine’s Day? Is it truly a day that holds significance? Or has it become so commercialized with boxes of heart-shaped chocolates, ads and giant teddy bears that it has lost all meaning? Some more cynical people may question whether or not the holiday should even be celebrated at all. Well, I still have hope. I still believe Valentine’s Day is important to celebrate.

In regards to the conception of the holiday, Valentine’s Day had less to do with love and romance and more to do with purification through sacrifice than anything else.

Conceptually, it stayed this way until the Middle Ages, when it was believed in Europe that February 14th was the start of the birds’ mating season.

Humans embraced the season and began showing affection toward one another during mid-February and then more specifically on Valentine’s Day. Think about that: an entire day dedicated to people showing love and respect toward other people. To me, that sounds wonderful.

In fact, I think we should not only keep celebrating Valentine’s Day but also have more days like it throughout the year. However, it should not be tied to a specific religion or group of people. Since there are words for love in every language and ways to show it in every culture, why not celebrate it throughout the world?

According to a 2010 poll conducted by Men’s Health Magazine, there is a gender split in regards to the validity of the holiday. So is Valentine’s Day truly too commercialized to encapsulate any real meaning? Or can the day still hold some significance?

When asked how they felt about Valentine’s Day, about 55 percent of women answered, “Love it! It’s another excuse to show I care.” Meanwhile, only 38 percent of men had the same response; the remaining 61 percent answered, “Ick! It’s a Hallmark holiday.” Perhaps this poll reinforces the stereotype that women are more romantic and affectionate than men. Regardless of this gender divide, Valentine’s Day does not have to be meaningless. Instead, I want to reach out to both men and women and encourage them to use this time of year to do something special for a significant other, loved one or even close friend!

Personally, while I do not mind the fact that Valentine’s Day has become more of a materialized holiday in our culture, I do not want chocolates or flowers. Instead I want to spend time with my boyfriend and my closest friends and celebrate a day of love, and I hope you will do the same in one form or another.