Valentines Day: Then vs Now


Emily Eslao

The history of Valentine’s Day is not all positive and is very different from the modern interpretation of the holiday.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Section Editor

Valentines Day is widely celebrated and known for the idea of love and affection. Although it seems like a simple concept that has no need to be a special holiday, its origin traces back to much darker ideas. The modern concept is full of roses, chocolates, and loving atmospheres, but the holiday has had a mysterious and even gory history.

Valentines Day was originally a Roman festival that celebrated spring and fertility (Britannica). While this sounds similar to the modern celebration and relatively normal for the holiday, it is actually quite the opposite. The festival began with the sacrifice of animals. Then, using strips of animal skin, women would be slapped to bestow fertility. 

Later, in an effort to Christianize the festival, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as St. Valentines Day ( After a few years, Father Valentine, a Roman Saint, faced issues with allowing soldiers to marry when they were banned from doing so during battles. He was then arrested and sentenced to death. On February 14th, in his cell, he wrote a note to his jailer’s daughter, who he had fallen in love with, signed “Your Valentine” before his execution. This sparked the modern tradition of people asking loved ones to be their valentine.

The holiday is now regarded as nonreligious and is celebrated by millions around the world in various ways. While the holiday’s history was not completely full of roses and chocolates, it set a tradition for celebrating love. Sending love does not necessarily have to be to a significant other; we can spread love to our friends, family, teachers, and other important people.


The following quotes are sweet messages to staff members from students who truly appreciate their work this year:

Dear Mrs. Ferris,

Thank you for everything that you do to make class exciting and engaging despite our virtual situation! I really, really appreciate the effort you put into all the google slides, nearpods, etc. Thank you so much for all your hard work!

– Sophie Zhang (11)

Dear Mrs. Ward,

Thank you for making chemistry so entertaining! It’s my favorite class.

– Shridhi (10)

Dear Mrs. Chavez,

Thanks for always taking time out of your personal life to help students!

– Shridhi (10)

Dear Mrs. Messick,

It’s really comforting to know that you are always there to help us out with whatever we need. I really appreciate that you are so patient with us and work hard to make our Culinary experience the best it can be. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher! We love you!!

– Megan Chou (10)


This year has been especially difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So this Valentine’s Day, make sure to send some love and thank all of the YLHS staff members for all of their dedication and hard work.