Valentine's Day 2013: Just Another Holiday That Fell Victim to Materialism

Evette Dionne thinks that Valentine's Day is far too materialistic. She explains why and then some by adding some historical context to the holiday. Read the first two paragraphs here, and click on to read the full article: 

The annual smooches-and-roses fest known as Valentine’s Day is Thursday. Cue the complete transformation of stores from drab gray shelves to pink and red décor. Americans are inundated with so much commercialism that we associate successful coupledom with expensive gifts, romantic dinners, and Hallmark cards. Even kids are victims. Children who don’t receive heart-shaped candies from their school crushes are devastated. Don’t pretend that I was the only fifth grader heartbroken on February 14.

Valentine’s Day is the liturgical celebration of the Christian saint, Valentinus, but it is frequently represented by commercials featuring lovesick couples. Like other holidays rooted in religious doctrine, Valentine’s Day has lost its initial purpose. Among the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church, the death date of the third-century saint, who allegedly died on February 14 after being persecuted and incarcerated by the Romans, is an official feast. St. Valentine’s skull is exhibited in Rome and is worshipped on the date of his death. However, after the association of Valentine’s Day with love began in the High Middle Ages, it has lost its initial vision.

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Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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