Valentine’s Day history: beyond hearts, flowers


Garrett Ammesmaki News Editor

Garrett Ammesmaki

Valentine’s Day is here, and you know what that means:

Another day of being painfully alone and unloved; but Feb. 14 is a special day — where even Wal-Mart makes you feel bad about being single.

Ignore the heart-shaped boxes and oversized teddy bears, forget the fact your ex left you broken and dead inside. Let’s learn something new.

Did you know Valentine’s Day most likely began in Ancient Rome?

According to NPR, from Feb. 13 to 15, Roman women would line up and all the men would beat them with animal hides. The beating was supposed to make them fertile. This also included a lottery where men would draw names, and whoever was coupled would have sex with each other for the rest of the holiday.

Originally called Lupercalia, it would also include animal sacrifice. What a festival of love. Of course, the times have changed.

Now, instead of beating women, young lovers shower each other with chocolate, stuffed animals and venereal diseases.

According to the Center of Disease Control, people ages 15 to 24 acquire half of all new STDs annually, and one in four sexually active females has an STD, such as chlamydia or HPV.

Fun stuff.

Oh, but I’m in a committed relationship, you say. They don’t have an STD.

Most people with STDs such as Gonorrhea can remain asymptomatic for up to a year. Sometimes, people don’t show any symptoms at all.

Anyway, let’s get over all this glum.

According to Psychology Today, partners will often use grand gestures and “extravagant dinners” as ways to slap a Band-Aid on continual relationship problems.

To top it all off, seeing people post about their Valentine’s Day celebrations makes us compare them to our own experiences. This can lead to dissatisfaction, even if it was enjoyable at the time.
Of course, this is all from a cynical point of view.

I’m sure your relationship really is special, and not just another one in line for the chopping block.
Happy holidays.

Garrett Ammesmaki is a News Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected]