Valentine’s Day: It’s History And Controversies

Valentine’s Day has a complicated history, and people have a wide variety of opinions about it.

Valentine’s Day: It’s History And Controversies

Image/Graphics by History.com

Some people would say that Valentine’s Day is their favorite holiday, while others find Cupid to be on the creepy side. Before you decide if and how to celebrate, let’s take a quick look at the history of Valentine’s Day. 

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for many years, on the fourteenth of February, and it usually involves candies, flowers, and cards sent to various loved ones. The earliest known record of Valentine’s Day dates all the way back to 496 AD, where it was titled “The Feast Of Saint Valentine”, and it was celebrated in Rome to honor the martyrs’ Valentine Of Rome and Valentine Of Terni. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it finally started to become associated with love. Then in the eighteenth century, the first Valentine’s Day cards were made. The rest, as they say, is history.

Valentine’s Day is a time of love and celebration, but it is not without its controversies. In 1929, during the era of prohibition, seven men from Chicago were assassinated by four unidentified men; the purpose of the massacre is still unknown as of now. Valentine’s Day has also been banned in several countries. In 2016, Pakistan banned Valentine’s Day as it supposedly went against Islamic teaching. Pakistan is also a Muslim country, and Valentine’s Day is not a part of Muslim culture; other countries that have banned Valentine’s Day are Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran, and Russia. Some people chose not to celebrate it because it was related to a pagan festival, while others don’t celebrate it because it was originally made to worship mythical gods. Student Olivia Stavola told me, “It’s a commercial holiday; however, I still think it’s fun.”

Valentine’s Day certainly has an unusual and sometimes controversial history, but here in the United States, many people love the festivities. Elementary students love to create Valentine’s boxes and fill them with cards and treats. Adults enjoy fancy dinner dates. Now that you have the background on this holiday, how will you celebrate? Or maybe you won’t! Owen Graham says, “Valentine’s Day is an obligation.” 

My opinion is that if you have someone that you love, you should celebrate Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be a girlfriend or a boyfriend. You can celebrate with a friend or a parent. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just fun! Mrs. Levonick is excited for Valentine’s Day because she’s “willing to celebrate anything!”