Cupid shoots his arrows of love at Ventura High


Yasmin Myers and Katie Medina

How does the history of Valentine’s Day compare to modern day celebration?

[dropcap size=small]V[/dropcap]alentine’s Day, rooted in the legend and death of the mysterious Saint Valentine, is celebrated most by showering significant others with gifts and love. Although the true reason behind why couples still partake in the Valentine’s Day tradition remains unclear, there are many myths that have circulated since the 5th century.

Juniors Stella Feingold and Angie Flum (from left to right) explained that they both believe in soul mates and will be celebrating the somewhat “cheesy” holiday together. Photo from: Stella Feingold

Although there are three different versions of how Valentine’s Day came to be, the most popular begins with the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who outlawed marriage. It is said that a priest named Valentine continued to marry couples in secret. After the Emperor Claudius discovered this, he sentenced Saint Valentine to death, which was carried out on Feb. 14. Legend also has it that while in jail, Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” Valentine was named a saint after his death in A.D. 369 for his services, according to

Another component of Valentine’s Day history consists of the greek legend of Cupid, a cherub who mischievously shot arrows at people he saw fit for affection. Traced back to 700 B.C., Cupid would play with the hearts of mortals and gods to create mayhem. Depicted as a young man in his late teens, he was considered both handsome and intimidating, and would use his power to make people fall in love, according to

Valentine’s Day has since sprouted from such legends. Junior Julianna Jacobs-Vargas expressed her favorite things about Valentine’s Day, “I love the bright colors, teddy bears, the chocolate and flowers. I love being around the people I care most about.” Jacobs-Vargas additionally revealed her viewpoint on love at first sight and soulmates, “I do not believe in ‘love at first sight’. To me love isn’t about appearance. I need to actually know somebody. It would definitely take more than a glance for me to fall in love with someone.”

Junior couple Angie Flum and Stella Feingold shared their thoughts on the holiday. Flum explained, “I’m kind of neutral on Valentine’s Day.” Flum continued, “I used to hate it, but now that I’m in a relationship I can see the appeal, I guess. If you’re into Valentine’s Day and enjoy celebrating it, then yeah you can make a big deal out of it.” Feingold voiced her opinions as well, saying, “I kind of like it because it’s a day to show someone how much you love them, even if it’s pretty cheesy.”

Junior Finn Thompson and senior Max Bolle (from left to right) said, “Valentine’s Day is significant for us because we started dating the day before Valentine’s Day last year, so it seems extra important because it’s also [our] anniversary!” Photo by: Katie Medina
Senior Max Bolle added to the conversation, expressing, “I like Valentines aesthetically but not ethically, if that makes sense. I don’t think that companies and stores should capitalize on the idea of love, but I do like the hearts and the pink everything.” 

US manufacturers shipped over an estimated $33 billion worth of Valentine’s day products as of 2016, according to Business Insider. Although a majority of this money goes toward flowers, chocolates and jewelry, not all Valentine’s Day gifts are for humans. Over 9 million people are expected to give a gift to their furry friends each year.

Bolle continued to share his thoughts on some of the trite feelings that come with the spirit of Valentine’s Day, “I personally don’t believe in love at first sight or soulmates, in the way of having one person fated to be your perfect match for all time, because I think people are too dynamic and change too often for fate to have figured out a partner for you since the beginning of time.” Bolle elaborated, “That’s not to say I don’t believe in love, obviously. I just think that your tastes and ultimately the people you get into relationships grow and change as you grow and change.”

“I have the same thoughts as Max on Valentines being a ‘Hallmark holiday’ [or] a holiday popularized for commercial purposes, but I do think it’s fun to have an excuse to tell people how you feel when timing is difficult,” said junior Finn Thompson

Feb. 14 only comes once a year and before it approaches, there can be a sense of pressure that many people feel to find their significant other prior to Valentine’s Day. Whether you have a bae or not this Valentines day, love is definitely in the air.