The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder

The student news site of Plainfield High School Central Campus

The Fielder


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Valentine’s Day began as rebellion

Creative Commons
“St. Valentine’s Day – The Old Story in All Lands (1868)” by Harper & Bros. Cooper Hewitt (CC0)

Despite the fact that 80 out of 103 students polled celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, only 17 know the origins behind it, according to a recent Fielder survey.
Many people celebrate solely because they feel it would be weird not to.
“[Celebrating St. Valentine’s day is] just what everyone does and it’s very odd if you don’t,” Grant Kearney, senior, said.
Some feel like it’s necessary when in a relationship:
“I have a girlfriend so I really have no choice,” Miguel Ramirez, senior, said.
St. Valentine’s Day has many legends behind it; historians often argue over who St. Valentine even was, as there were at least two people by that name.
“I was taught a man named St. Valentine would marry people in secret because they weren’t allowed to,” Wren Ferguson, senior, said.
One legend, reported by the history channel, follows the idea that Valentine was a priest in third century Rome. When Emperor Claudius II declared that single men would be drafted to be soldiers rather than married men, he also outlawed marriage for those young men. Valentine defyed the emperor and performed the illegal marriages in secret. For this act he was executed.
Valentine’s Day didn’t even become associated with love until the late Middle Ages, thanks to English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
While some claim that Valentine’s Day is celebrated Feb. 14 as to commemorate the anniversary of either Valentine’s death or burial, many also claim that the date was picked in order to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.
Celebrated Feb. 15, Lupercalia was a fertility or love festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
Despite the reigns having their roots all the way to 270 a.d., Americans only began exchanging valentines cards in the early 1700s.
In the 1840s a woman, known as Esther Howland, began selling the first mass-produced valentines cards. Howland, who would go down in history as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate collage creations with lace, ribbons and colorful pictures. Some of her still remaining art work is on display at The Met. Nowadays, according to Hallmark, around 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.
“The holiday overall is corporations’ attempting to capitalize on people’s ‘love’ for each other. Of course there’s alternatives, but I don’t understand the need to express your ‘love’ more on this day than other days,” Jakob Karanosky, sophomore, said.
No matter the origins of the holiday, today it is seen as a fun and joyous way to celebrate loved ones.

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