Valentine’s Day: Now and then

By: Jordan Waymire, Staff Writer

From February 13 to 15 in ancient Rome, a festival of drunk men would celebrate the feast of Lupercalia, where they would sacrifice a goat or dog and then whip the women with the hides.

These women often lined up to be whipped because they believed it would bring them good luck, give them fertility, and bless them with healthy babies.

The festivities also included a “matchmaking lottery.” The men would draw a woman’s name from a jar and they’d be paired up for the rest of the festival—or even longer if the match was successful.

In later years, the 14th was dubbed St. Valentine’s Day—after the executions of two men named Valentine.

The combination of Lupercalia and St. Valentine’s Day became a much more toned down version of the once very rowdy festival. However, this new festival was still about love and fertility.

Although the origins of Valentine’s Day are quite unclear, the new traditions brought about in the 20th century do not look like they will fade away anytime soon.

In present day, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love… and card companies.

Couples, friends, and families exchange chocolate, flowers, cheesy cards, and an array of other gifts.

At Leigh, Valentine’s Day traditions accompany a normal school day.

Of the 102 replies submitted to a schoolwide survey about the holiday, a quarter of students say that their best friend is going to be their valentine and only 20% say that their boyfriend or girlfriend will be their valentine.

“We’ve talked about spending the day together, seeing a movie, and going on a crazy adventure like we always love doing, and possibly watching the sunset at country view,” says junior Jessie Deitsch, speaking about her best friend.

“[I will] Take my amazing girlfriend somewhere fun and make her happy,” states junior Elai Ronen.

Aaliyah Allmon, a sophomore says, “[I will] give my best friend a present because you will always have best friends to love!”

Junior Katie Weston’s cute tradition with her girlfriend entails: “going to cute coffee places and always getting coffee in mugs and just talking.” Because Valentine’s Day is also a school day, “that’s all we’re gonna do.”

10% plan on getting their crush to be their valentine and 21% say that their pet will be their valentine. The remaining 24% say they will be their own valentine, or they don’t want one at all.

Junior Nolan Smith says, “I’m going to spend it with my two favorite triangles 🍕🍰 [pizza and cake].”

“My plan is to wait until the day after for all of the chocolate to go on sale and buy a ton to eat,” says sophomore Lynn Rodoni.

Freshman Bryce Henze plans to “be a civilian; or just have a normal day until my mom bugs me about everything I did today.”

No matter who has a valentine and who doesn’t, or what people have planned, it seems like everyone will have schoolwork to worry about as well.