Reality Check: Is Valentine’s Day A Commercial Gimmick?
Valentine’s Day is a day marked for showing your love to your partner, family, and friends. The idea is to bring out the dormant feelings of people. Throughout this week, people speak the language of love, expressing their heartfelt feelings to their dear ones. This week of love starts from 7th February, which is celebrated as Rose Day and culminates on 14th February i.e. Valentine’s Day.
WHY IS IT CELEBRATED?
Valentine’s Day dates back to the 3rd century. It is an old tradition thought to have originated from the Roman culture. The day is believed to be named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome. There are different stories about the origin of this day.
According to one theory, the Christian church decided to place St Valentine’s feast day at this time of the year in an effort to ‘Christianise’ the pagan festival of Lupercalia (an ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral annual festival observed in the city of Rome to avert evil spirits). Other notions show that one time, a Roman king believed that single soldiers offered devoted service as compared to married ones, so he abolished marriage. Then a young priest by the name Valentine started marrying off couples secretly and when the king learnt of it, he was martyred on February 14, hence recognizing this day after him.
HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?
In the 21st century, the week of love is celebrated with so much enthusiasm. People spend quality time with each other and give gifts to their significant others. They go out of their way in the name of Valentine’s week to impress their boyfriend or girlfriend. Just like we have special offers on every occasion, Valentine’s Day offers too come out every year, proving its importance among people.
But how necessary is Valentine’s Day? Don’t call me unromantic, but there is no denial to the fact that Valentine’s Day is all about money and business.
Throughout the month of February, hi-end stores milk the concept of Valentine’s Day and build shopping campaigns around the theme.
So the question that arises is this: If love comes with a price tag, is it really love?
In fact, numbers show the amount of business V-Day generates. Indian florists get a business of Rs 220-250 million on this day. On an average, Indians spend Rs 5 billion to celebrate Valentine’s Day. That is a lot of money, isn’t it?
Also, when measures are being proposed to eradicate poverty completely, people spending such a huge amount of money on just materialistic things just doesn’t seem right.
The pretense of being in love
Why should we have only one day to symbolise love? The level of sugary love you portray magnifies during this week. People can love each other every day and still acknowledge it. Why just a day to make someone realize each other’s definition of love? Is it only for show?
Not just limited to a partner
Love is about friendship too. So why do we only promote the idea of Valentine’s Day for lovers? It is not always about a prince charming on a white horse coming for you. Your mother, sister, and brother can also be your Valentine.
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The pressure to be in love
Friends have their own way of pressurizing you to have a date on Valentine’s Day. It is like a ritual which has to be followed every year. You cannot celebrate it like any other day. It has to be special. Social media plays its humongous part in its own way by reminding every individual in the world that it is VALENTINE’S DAY and how it should be different.
So, if you didn’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day week with your better half, then don’t feel bad because love has no boundaries and time. Every day is a day full of love, cherish it and celebrate it. You didn’t miss out on anything in life. Because all you need is love: when, where, at what time of the day doesn’t even count!
Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV