September 20, 2020

BY KEILA MACPHERSON

It’s that time of year again where red and pink hearts flood the shelves of retail stores, ready to be purchased by lovers of all ages.
Getting a valentine from your crush was cute in elementary school, but as an adult, is it really still that important?
Besides cards, flowers and chocolates, you can buy banners, balloons and games. Adult stores see an increase in sales as well.
The pressure to exchange gifts is not only felt by couples, but by everyone regardless of age.
Of course, there’s always the choice to not buy into the commercial side of Valentine’s Day, but it has become difficult due to the societal pressures which imply you have to buy someone something or else you don’t love them, or you are unloved if you don’t get anything.
According to history.com, Valentine’s Day has been recognized as a day of love since the Middle Ages, but there is no precise origin.
However, there are many stories of St. Valentine and how today’s traditions came to be. One involves the saint being sent to jail where he falls in love with his captor’s daughter and writes to her, signed “From your Valentine.”
Valentine’s Day is also said to have originated from a pagan tradition called Lupercalia, a fertility festival for the Roman god of agriculture.
The events that took place could be considered unpleasant by today’s standards and definitely not as sexy or romantic as the ones we celebrate today.
The order of Roman priests at the event would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. They would then take the goat hides, dip them in sacrificial blood and go around the city slapping the bloodied skins on women and crops to make them fertile.
This outlandish display is equalled by today’s gaudy and boorish displays of “affection.”
What everyone should remember is Valentine’s Day is a day of expressing your love for people you care about and that doesn’t mean buying them every product on the shelf.