The exact date of the coinage of Valentine’s Day is still uncertain. Some historians say that this day was rooted in the early Romans’ celebration of Lupercalia—where men hit women with sheepskin in the belief that they will become healthy and fertile.
The most popular belief of the day’s origin is that of Pope Gelasius’ declaration of St. Valentine’s Day after two men, who were both named Valentine, were executed for martyrdom. How St. Valentine became affiliated with a love-focused holiday was because he performed weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry – and he wore a ring with a Cupid on it—a symbol of love—that helped soldiers recognize him. He also handed out paper hearts to remind Christians of their love for God.
Either way, it seems like Valentine’s Day was ingrained from forbidden love, dark rituals and bloodbath. But the idea behind it changed after Shakespeare and other writers romanticized the word ‘Valentine.’ They used ‘Valentine’ for romantic confessions in their poems and writings. And just like any other thing that gets romanticized, everyone would follow the same thinking (bandwagon syndrome, but who’s complaining?).
As of today, Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated all over the world as a day of expressing love in a more extravagant and effortful way. Did you know that the average consumer spends $130.21 on this day alone?!
But of course, due to post-modernism, this day is no longer just for couples in love! Valentine’s Day has also become a day of declaration for self-love and appreciation. More and more people celebrate Valentine’s Day with family, friends, and even pets! Fun fact, in the US alone, researchers claim that an average of $886 million was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts for pets in the year 2016. My, how far society has grown and changed. But of course, most singles would still prefer to spend the day with a date, so how can you even get one ASAP?