Valentine’s Day – Love Is In The Air

By Andrew Kunkel, contributing writer

With the biggest celebration of love all year, Valentine’s Day, upon us, different people have different ideas of what makes the best date.

“The best Valentine’s Day I ever had was when my boyfriend bought us concert tickets,” said Oswego Alumni Heather Harter. “We saw my favorite band, and there’s nothing like dancing to your favorite band with the love of your life.”

A huge teddy bear with a heart on the roof of an east side Oswego residence proclaims it's Valentine's Day.
A huge teddy bear with a heart on the roof of an east side Oswego residence proclaims it's Valentine's Day.

“For me, it would have to be something fun,” said SUNY Oswego student Casey Taylor. “A day of skiing followed by a nice dinner in the ski lodge. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be any huge deal, just being with your special someone is what’s important.”

Others view the holiday with a different outlook.

“I don’t want anything special for Valentine’s Day,” said Madison Schlaugies, “It’s just one day of the year. So, I don’t consider it any different than any other day.”

“I don’t believe in ‘Hallmark’ holidays,” added Matt Cristo, referring to the glut of greeting cards and candies sold at this time.

“I think that Valentine’s Day is a way for card companies, flower makers and other businesses to make a ton of money off people,” agreed Rosie Maxwell.

Approximately one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. In order of popularity, Valentine’s Day cards are given to: teachers, children, mothers, wives and sweethearts.

However, some people try to be as romantic as they can for their sweetheart.

“I’m planning on buying her a tub of her favorite ice cream and then taking her to watch the sunset,” said Christopher Geluso.

The History of Valentine’s Day

The origins of Valentine’s Day trace back to the ancient Roman celebration of Lupercalia. Held on February 15, Lupercalia honored the gods Lupercus and Faunus, as well as the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.

In addition to a bountiful feast, Lupercalia festivities are purported to have included the pairing of young women and men. Men would draw women’s names from a box, and each couple would be paired until next year’s celebration.

While this pairing of couples set the tone for today’s holiday, it wasn’t called “Valentine’s Day” until a priest named Valentine came along.

Valentine, a romantic at heart, disobeyed Emperor Claudius II’s decree that soldiers remain bachelors. Claudius handed down this decree believing that soldiers would be distracted and unable to concentrate on fighting if they were married or engaged.

Valentine defied the emperor and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. As a result of his defiance, Valentine was put to death on February 14.

After Valentine’s death, he was named a saint. As Christianity spread through Rome, the priests moved Lupercalia from February 15 to February 14 and renamed it St. Valentine’s Day to honor Saint Valentine.

1 Comment

  1. I think the celebration of this day is good…and bad. For many couples, especially those who are long-time partnered, it is a reminder not to take each other for granted. With day in and day out life, it’s sometimes easy to forget that you have something pretty great, and some ONE important who enhances your life, every day, not just THIS one!

    The bad…when there IS no one that does that, there is so much attention given to those who do, that there is often serious sadness that day. Wishfulness…

    The sadness may be for a lost love (death/divorce/never found the right one), but also maybe monetary. IF finances cause one to not be able to do what is ‘expected’ at the level of affection you feel, or when you DO something too $ and it hurts later. Or when you’d like to give your special someone the best that life has to offer, and well, the baby needs nappies, the best meal you can offer is everyday food(s), and/or…you have to work instead of spending time with that person (the second job, or to feed those that are out celebrating…someone has to do that, too), and all night long you get to watch others cuddle and coo and you are too exhausted when you get home to do more than pet the dog!

    So, good and bad. I also believe there is a $ holiday almost each month. Somewhere along the way we began to buy into the need to buy into, you know. So just finding time to be together ‘some time around’ the holiday is great. A bucket of ice cream, that’s nice, too (see above!), a small candy bar and then a borrowed movie, well, that can be memorable if it’s a celebration. Going for a walk with the baby and watching the sun set (or something like that can also make this Valentine’s Day one of the memorable ones).

    Or just saying, “I love YOU!” on that special day (if everyone knows that times are $ hard, and the baby is *** into your disposable capital, lol!).

    So for all those that don’t have a special someone, make YOU that special someone. Buy yourself something you might not otherwise, or take yourself on that special walk and think of how great you are, and how flying solo is better than being with the wrong person! And, or, celebrate with friends who make a difference all the other days of the year.


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