Shane Kelly, staff writer
It is now the month of February, which means that love is in the air. Even in this bitter cold month, we can still warm up with our loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
Each Feb. 14 millions of people around the world buy flowers, chocolates and gifts for their special someone. The history of this day of love dates back thousands of years ago. Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine. History tells us that Valentine was a priest who lived in Rome around 270 A.D. Valentine got his fame from holding secret marriages.
Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade marriages because he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families and that they wouldn’t make good soldiers. When lovers in Rome were ready to get married, they turned to Valentine, who would perform the sacrament of matrimony in a secret place. Valentine would later be arrested and executed for his heroic acts.
Valentine’s spirit lives on and his fest day is celebrated now more than ever. Many students at Utica also take part in celebrating the holiday.
“I think Valentine’s Day is about appreciating your loved ones or someone you feel intimacy towards. Relationships aren’t always the easiest, so Valentine’s Day recognizes everything your loved ones do for you day in and day out,” sophomore Matt McKeon said. “This Valentine’s Day and every Valentines I appreciate my mom the most.”
Whether you spend it with your parents, your significant other or your friends, money is usually spent on this holiday. The average person spends around $130 on their valentine, according to CNN. The Estimated number of roses grown for Valentine’s Day alone is 224 million while $1.6 billion will be spent on candy, totaling to an estimated $18.6 million spent overall.
“I like Valentine’s Day because I love love,” senior Mckenzie Liddle said. “I also go to the Melting Pot for fondue dinner, which is my favorite tradition.”
Liddle also mentioned that there are some aspects to the holiday that she doesn’t enjoy, stating that she is not fond of chocolates that come in heart-shaped boxes.
“They taste bad and they are cheesy,” Liddle said. “Maybe they were okay to get in middle school, but at this stage in the game in my Valentine’s Day career, someone can do better than that.”
Whether you like heart shaped chocolates or not, nothing says “I love you” more than a gift with a card. Finding cards should not be a problem, as there are over 1,400 Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards alone. An estiamted 145 million cards will be purchased.
“I think Valentine’s Day is great. You can show your loved ones how much you care for them, even though you should do it every day,” junior James Murphy said. “This Valentine’s Day is a little unfortunate though because my girlfriend just dumped me, we had plans of going out to dinner but I guess now I’ll just grab a beer and sit on the couch with my roommate, who I love too, so it’s okay.”
Whether in a relationship or just recently dumped, Valentine’s Day can be celebrated by anyone and everyone. Take the loved ones around you and enjoy this special day as best as you can with them.