Is Valentine’s Day Overrated?


Delaney Meyers, Reporter

As February 14 quickly approaches, some people, particularly those with romantic partners, are preparing for what may be the most “romantic” holiday: Valentine’s Day. But is Valentine’s Day really all that great? Or is it simply overrated?

The origins of the holiday are unconfirmed, although some historians suspect that it may have originated in Rome as a pagan festival by the name of Lupercalia. While the festival was celebrated in February, that is about the only similarity between Lupercalia and the modern Valentine’s Day. Lupercalia was violent, and quite different from what the modern holiday has become. Eventually, when the Romans turned from their pagan beliefs to follow Christianity, the holiday supposedly shifted into honoring Saint Valentine, which may be where the name came from. At this point, Lupercalia was outlawed. Centuries later, Valentine’s Day became what it is today; a holiday surrounding love. 

After taking a look at the holiday’s past, one can’t help but wonder how a holiday that has shifted so much from its original form could stand so stationary in its current celebrations. The modern version of Valentine’s Day centers completely around romantic love, and quickly becomes a holiday exclusively for those in romantic relationships. The holiday seems to highlight romantic relationships as the only kind of love to exist, at least on that day.

However, there are many kinds of love. The Ancient Greeks themselves had actually identified at least eight different forms of love, ranging from romantic love to platonic love to love between family members. If a holiday claims to be centered around love, why not pay respect to several forms, if not all forms, rather than solely focus on romantic affection?

For all of the people who are not in romantic relationships, the holiday is quite overrated, as it pays no mind to those who are single. And yet, if Valentine’s Day were to expand its range of highlighted forms of love, perhaps it could be more inclusive of all people, and therefore a little less despised by those to which it does not pertain.