The variation of Valentine’s celebrations

Maddie Turnbull '24, Business Manager

February can be a cold, dark, and lonely time for some. While most people celebrate Valentine’s day as a traditional romantic holiday, there are others who despise the day and wish nothing of it. It’s a custom in the United States to wear pink and red clothing, decorate with hearts, give little gifts of candy to friends and partners, and give gifts of flowers. But what is a more positive, inclusive alternative to the holiday?
In the past few years, the tradition of Galentine’s day has risen in popularity: a day for girls and their “gal pals” to celebrate friendship and themselves. With many restaurants offering a Galentine’s brunch, it’s become a go-to for many who enjoy spending time with their friends and having a relaxing day to themselves. While a precise date for Galentine’s day isn’t certain, many choose to celebrate on Feb. 13.
If Galentine’s day doesn’t seem like the right fit or for those truly on their own, Singles Awareness Day (SAD) is celebrated in the U.S. on Feb. 15. Scoring Valentine’s candy and other treats on sale, SAD allows individuals the ability to celebrate in the comfort of their own home. With highlights of spending time in bed, while eating discounted treats and posting on social media to reinforce one’s joyfully single status, SAD is a relaxing and personal day to celebrate the individual experience.
With the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, there are many opportunities to celebrate one’s partner. A partner isn’t always romantic, but can simply be an admired individual whose company brings joy. In Finland, the holiday Ystävänpäivä, or Friendship Day, is a platonic take on the holiday admiring friendships and the joys of having someone to call a friend. According to the “This is Finland” website, the tradition shares cards with friends and allows for a large group gathering to celebrate long-term friendship and admiration.
Despite possible stressors, at its core, Valentine’s day is a time to share the joys that loved ones bring and to showcase admiration. Having someone to call a friend is important to personal health and sharing the importance of that person goes a long way.