Valentine’s Day: a holiday filled with roses, Cupids, chocolates, flowers, and love. For some, this is a joyful day to remind their loved ones how much they care. This is a day not only for romance, but also for friendship and family.
Others, however, see this day merely as an obvious reminder of their loneliness and find the bombardment of pinks and reds to be painful. Even if in a relationship, some view St. Valentine’s Day merely as a commercialized excuse to sell cheesy cards and sub-par chocolates.
If you fall into the latter category and identify yourself as the “Ebenezer Scrooge” of February 14, but you do not want to feel excluded from the holiday festivities, fret not: here are several reasons to celebrate Valentine’s Day even if you abhor winged love-babies and thorny flowers.
- Maybe your aversion to this holiday is because you are a fierce feminist who finds the implication that a woman needs a romantic relationship in order to be happy to be outdated and obtuse. More power to you: it’s easy to make Valentine’s Day all about the wonderful things women have accomplished when you recognize February 14 as the League of Women Voter’s Day.
Suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt was not only an advocate for the 19th amendment—which granted women the right to vote—but she also founded the League of Women Voters on February 14, 1920. Since then, the League has played a large role in voter registration and education to ensure the legitimacy of American democracy. For both male and female feminists, the 14th of February is a day to recognize the importance of voter equality.
- Perhaps you are an advocate of fedora hats and machine guns with a bit of a dark side. Exchanging cards and candies on February 14 is the perfect way to remind your beloved of the historic St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Al Capone was one of the most notorious bootleggers during the Prohibition period of the 1920’s. He fought for control for the black market of alcohol with rival George Moran. On February 14, 1927, the rivalry erupted in a gang war when four of Capone’s men killed seven of Moran’s men. This dispute was coined “the Valentine’s Day Massacre” and proved to be the last confrontation between the two gangs.
- Keep the red, but ditch the pink for some white and blue for this patriotic holiday. On February 14, 1779, 340 Patriot soldiers fought a group of Loyalists in Kettle Creek, Georgia. Despite being outnumbered 2:1 by the Loyalists, the Patriots won. If you have any love to give on this Valentine’s Day, show some love for this country.
- Though an unconventional way to honor Valentine’s Day, if you are a lover of pastries or math, February 14 could begin the one-month countdown to Pi Day on March 14.
Pi Day, which alludes to the irrational number 3.14159 (and so forth), is celebrated on 3/14 with cheesy math jokes and delicious pies. Start your countdown with a pie a day for a month; your jeans may feel tighter, but your heart will be lighter.
- If all else fails, spread some holiday cheer by acknowledging the fact that you finally learned that it’s ValenTINE’s Day, not ValenTIME’s Day: the moment a child correctly pronounces it with an “n” is an important milestone in his/her development. You can probably find it in your baby book after “first haircut”.
All in all, Valentine’s Day can be celebrated for many reasons. Whether you buy a card or make one, know that there is no reason to sulk on this day. Happy League of Women Voter’s Day!