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Breaking Down the “Sweetest” Holiday of The Year

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February 14th. Valentine’s Day. There’s a dark backstory about Valentine’s Day, but I would rather not ruin your perception of the “lovey dovey” day with all the gory details. I will say that if you want to learn more, look up the festival of Lupercalia. From what Valentine’s Day used to be to what it is now, lots of things have changed. Valentine’s Day might be the most prevalent day in America that celebrates love, but there are other holidays like Valentine’s Day around the world; since it’s the season, I thought it would be a great idea to shed some light on some facts, traditions, and anything else related to the big red holiday.

White Day: A month after Valentine’s Day is celebrated  (March 14th) Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, observe another holiday just like Valentine’s Day: White Day. Usually, on Valentine’s Day, women give chocolates to men. Sometimes, people even go all out to make the chocolates themselves! However, on White Day, it’s flipped. Men give chocolates to women. If a guy received a chocolate from a girl on Valentine’s Day, they are socially obligated to return the favor by giving gifts on White Day. This started when a company called “Ishimuramanseido” marketed marshmallows for men on March 14th, dubbing it “Marshmallow Day.” After that, many other companies started selling white chocolate around this time in March and it just took off from there. Men started using March 14th as an opportunity to repay the women who got them chocolates on Valentine’s Day, usually following the theme of white chocolate or white jewelry or clothing.

The Money Involved: We all know that Valentine’s Day is the time to go all out if you’re in a relationship. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and giant stuffed animals are all things that come to mind. That all means money. Companies earnings always spike around holidays. On average, the amount of money spent on Valentine’s Day alone is around 18-1

9 billion dollars (with a B!) That comes down to around $135 per person.

Here’s a little breakdown of what is spent where:

Jewelry: 20% of consumers fall into this category creating a total of around 4 billion dollars spent.

Flowers: 250 million roses are made for the holiday, and around 2 billion dollars goes into the pockets of these companies.

Chocolates and Candy: Only around $1.7 billion. No biggie.

Greeting Cards: around 200 million greeting cards are exchanged spending around $1 billion.

Being Single: Currently, there are 109 million Americans over the age of 18 that are single. Despite this, however, Valentine’s Day has Americans opening their wallets wide. Of people that are single in the US, the majority of them have never been married.  (A whopping 63%!)

I decided to interview some people asking their thoughts on being single. Here are some the responses.

Me: Are you sad about being single for Valentine’s Day?

Person A: Not really, I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day honestly.

Person B: I don’t really care.

Person C: No. Because all the happiness I need I have myself.

Person D: Absolutely.

Person E: I mean, yeah.

Person F: No. Absolutely not. Too much work- too much commitment.

Me: So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day if you’re not going to be with significant other?

Person A: I’m actually going to spending time with my family- it’s my dad’s birthday.

Person B: I don’t know, I’ll probably just go home and eat food. I’m just going to treat it like a normal day.

Person C: Watching vine compilations, probably.

Person D: Nothing. I’ll literally be going home and doing homework. Maybe watch youtube.

Person E: Same thing as [Person D] I guess.

Person F: Sitting at home playing X-Box.

Me: Are you going to treat yourself? Maybe buy yourself stuff?

Person A: I’m not going to do anything. I don’t have any money.

Person B: Maybe I’m going to buy myself some chocolates. Any excuse to be a glutton.

Person C: I have $20 in my account right now. So no.

Person D: No. I just don’t care about myself so why would I treat myself.

Person E: No. I don’t have any money or a car.

Person F: I just don’t want to buy anything. I don’t want to spend money.

After evaluating everything, most high schoolers are single, tired, busy, or broke, and couldn’t care much about Valentine’s day in comparison to the rest of the world.

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