The beginning of February is a weird time, because you see heart-shaped chocolates next to Easter eggs in Tesco. At first, you are annoyed at the fact that they are already selling Easter eggs when it’s not even April yet. That’s like putting up your Christmas tree in the middle of October. But then, you get even more frustrated because you notice all the red hearts and roses everywhere, and realise that it’s nearly Valentine’s Day. Even worst you become aware that you are single. Great! Now your trip to Tesco has been ruined. 

If you are single, Valentine’s Day just becomes ‘single people awareness day’, because you are more aware about how single you are. Also, on the day, you see couples holding hands on the streets and are about to kiss, and you just want to vomit. 

So, who is the reason that this awful day exists? St. Valentine. The legend says that he was a priest during 3rd century, in the Roman empire, during that time it was ruled by Cladius Gothicus or Cladius the 2nd. [What an edgy last name, ‘Gothicus’.] Cladius was known for his harsh leadership, and frequently went into war. One day, Cladius banned marriage, because he believed that people shouldn’t focus on marriage and should dedicate themselves to war. However, St. Valentine was a rebel, he secretly helped couples get together, and would sometimes help marry them. But soon, St. Valentine was caught and taken to prison. During that time, the prison guard asked St. Valentine to heal is blind daughter. And so, St. Valentine went ‘bibbidi bobbidi boo’ and healed her, and then they fell in love. The day before St. Valentine was going to be executed, he wrote a letter to his lover, and signed it off with “Your Valentine”. Hence in the mordern day you call your date your 'Valentine. He was believed to be beheaded on February 14th. 

Some people believe that Valentine’s day is also influenced by an ancient Roman holiday, called Lupercalia, which is celebrated on February the 15th. On Lupercalia, people would celebrate and honor the mythical founders, Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned by their parents; but then, they were saved by a she-wolf. On this day two groups of priests, one group from the followers of Romulus and one group from the followers of Remus, would meet in the cave in Palatine Hill. Like most celebrations and holidays, it starts with a big feast and loads (I mean loads) of drinking. Afterwards, (this is where it gets kind of gruesome) they would sacrifice goats and a dog (to symbolize the she-wolf). Next, one priest from each of the groups would come to the center and put sacrificial blood on their forehead, this was supposed to represent the ending of the feud and violence between Romulus and Remus. It gets a even stranger now. Then, the priests would get naked and make whips out of the goat skin and dip them into the blood; and then run around town to whip the women. They would run around town to whip them, because it was believed to bring good luck and fertility. But most people weren’t afraid of getting whipped, in fact, they wanted to get whipped. It was considered to be for fun, like a game. This festival was very popular and carried on for a long time, until Pope Gelasius banned it, mainly because of the drunkenness and nudity. He changed it to a much more PG friendly event, a festical to celebrate the purification of the Virgin Mary (a very big difference from what it originally was).

I am glad that people don’t go around whipping people with dead animal skin on Valentine’s Day. However, whether or not you are single, or have valentine on that day, I still wish you have an awesome day! If you are feeling lonely and a bit sad, you can always talk to friends and family members, or binge watch anime, cat videos or whatever you want!