Ah, the day of love.
Valentine’s Day is a day of flowers, chocolates, conversation hearts and Hallmark cards. Its symbols include Cupid, St. Valentine and, to some, even Al Capone and Bugs Moran. While Valentine’s Day is a global holiday, it has roots in one of the most basic human needs: love.
Even though the argument holds that Valentine’s Day is no more than a commercialized holiday, there are those who still hold on to the idea of love in all aspects: children.
In an interview with the Creston News Advertiser, several second-grade students spoke about their plans for Valentine’s Day and what it means to them.
Zai’land Glove and Dan Duff, both 8, said their favorite part of Valentine’s Day is the candy. They said their favorite candy is “Jawbreakers” and “suckers,” respectively.
Alexis Smith, 8, and Darren Wright, 7, said they like to have Valentines to pass out to their class and families.
“I’m bringing Monster High pencils. Everyone gets to bring a Valentine and everyone gets one,” said Smith. “I already gave my Valentines to my mom.”
Wright also said he is excited about “giving tattoos to people. I’m giving them to all my friends.”
Creston Elementary School will have Valentine’s Day tattoos for sale for the students to purchase before school today.
Halden Woollums, 8, said he had someone special to give a valentine to.
“Yeah, I have a crush on her,” he said.
Tammi Latham, Creston Elementary School second-grade teacher, said the children in her class have been busy decorating.
“We made a folder that they can put all of their goodies in for Thursday,” Latham said, “so they get to decorate with hearts and nice, kind words.”
Latham also said her students are excited, yet calm.
“They kind of know we’re going to get our work done, and then in the afternoon we’re going to have our Valentine party,” Latham said, “kind of a reward for working hard.”
Creston Elementary School will have a Valentine’s Day party, complete with ice cream, this afternoon.
Valentine’s Day has become very modernized in comparison to its historical roots. Chocolate, flowers and cards are what people crave. It has been commercialized in novels and films, and has become the second-largest card-sending holiday after Christmas.
Some statistics about the holiday include: in 2004, the total amount of shipments of chocolate based candy was $13.9 billion; of all men and women ages 30-34, 70 percent have been married at some point in their lives – either previously or currently; and as of 2008, the United States generated $700 million in revenue from online dating sites
The history of Valentine’s Day can be traced back well into the third century. One story goes that Valentine was a priest in the Roman military. The Roman emperor, Claudius II, decided then that single men made better soldiers than married men, and outlawed marriage for young men. Outraged, Valentine defied the military and performed marriages for young lovers in secret. When he was found out, he was ordered to death.
Other stories tell that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons, where they were beaten and tortured. He was imprisoned, and in one legend he was visited by a young girl, possibly the jailer’s daughter. They fell in love, and he sent what became known as the first Valentine, a letter signed, “From your Valentine.”