VALENTINE’S DAY – MONEY MAKER OR DAY OF DEVOTION?

By Jemma Heard – Contributing Writer

As we all know, the inevitable, (and very much controversial) 14th February is here. Some people love it, the thought of spending a whole day expressing their love; but others cannot wait for the 15th February when all chocolate is half price… (guilty as charged).

But as for the retailers, this day brings another opportunity in which to make profit from the endless 99p cards and £1 boxes of chocolates that they sell. Which begs the question, is this holiday just another way for them to keep their finances going?

Let’s start at the beginning. Valentine’s day is assumed to have begun from a Roman festival called ‘Lupercalia’. This festival was dedicated to the Roman God of Agriculture, Faunus, and was originally celebrated on February 15th. But at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius stated that February 14th would be St Valentine’s Day.

It is evident that as the many centuries have passed, the tradition to celebrate the holiday has grown with it. The retailers that line our high streets buy in the bulk a load of cheesy Valentine’s Day cards, ready for the public to spend. It is estimated that up to $18.2 billion will be spent in the US alone on Valentine’s day this year, (roughly £14.5 billion), on things such as cards, chocolates, flowers for one day (according to National Retail Federation).

So do we all need to spend money in order to show our love? Or is it a holiday to generate profit for the retailers?

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VALENTINE’S DAY – MONEY MAKER OR DAY OF DEVOTION?