In the words of Sex and the City’s Miranda Hobbs, ‘Is it just me or is Valentine’s Day on steroids this year?’

Some of you may or may not have noticed the abundance of Valentine’s gifts which have recently descended on the shops once again, and with a week to go, it leads me to question our modern-day obsession with this yearly ritual. Where did it come from? Why should we celebrate it? Why shouldn’t we? And what can we all do in Liverpool this Valentine’s day, whether we’re single or not?

The history and origins of Valentine’s day as I have come to learn is somewhat unclear, as there are many contributing historical moments which have constructed the Valentine’s day we all know, love, and even hate today. In the second century, Pope Claudius II prohibited marriage for young men to make them better soldiers. Yet, a priest known as ‘Valentine’ performed marriage ceremonies in secret, until he was eventually caught and put to death. It is said that he healed the daughter of his jailer and signed her a letter ‘your Valentine’ before his death.

Later, in the fourth century, Pope Gelasius (we’re seeing a Pope theme here) wanted to purge out the pagan fertility festival which took place every February by declaring February 14th as a Christian feast day. The festival becomes romanticised by the likes of Chaucer and Shakespeare, and when the eighteenth century comes around the holiday had evolved into gift giving. The final step towards the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day took place in 1913, when Hallmark cards started mass producing Valentine’s cards. So, the origins of this festival are actually fairly dark and gory, but it wouldn’t be a tradition without a bit of murder and persecution.

Why should we celebrate Valentine’s Day though? If you’d asked me that question two years ago, I would have said we shouldn’t because it’s merely a way of conglomerate companies squeezing us for every penny we’ve got, for crap we don’t really need. But I’m far less cynical now, so perhaps we should celebrate Valentine’s, because like most commercialised holidays, it can actually be really fun. At Easter we stuff our faces with chocolate, at Christmas we over indulge on everything, so why shouldn’t Valentine’s Day be the same? As students it’s a really good justification for a night out. You can spend a little or a lot eating gorgeous food and getting drunk with friends, girlfriends & boyfriends without feeling terrible for wasting your money. Friends of mine with and without partners are celebrating with a ‘Gal-entine’s Day’ in which they plan to stuff themselves with Chinese food and consume copious amounts of botanical gin. Those of you who are slightly more sceptical could consider celebrating an alternative and far newer past time on the 15th of February, known as Single Awareness Day. This holiday was created by singles, for singles, to commemorate their singleness.

Valentine’s Day is a tradition sprung from murder and cultivated by romance, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re single or not, treat yourself this Valentine’s day.

Events and deals in Liverpool include:

Place Address Deal Date & Time
Santa Maluco Castle Street, L2 0NA Unlimited Pizza & Prosecco for £25 pp 14/02/18
Bombed out Church Leece Street L1 2TR Classic Film showing (Casablanca with a fully licensed bar) £5 advance ticket & £8 on the door. Starts 7:30pm 14/02/18

Doors open at 7pm & film starts 7:30pm

‘It takes two to taco’ at Wahaca 24 College Lane L1 3DS 5 Sharing mains & 1 sharing dessert with a bottle of red or white to share for £23.50 per person or upgrade to prosecco/pitcher of margaritas for £29.50 Available from 12-18th of February
Roxy Ball Room Liverpool 26 College Lane L1 3DS 4 cans of red stripe for £10 while you battle it out at beer pong 13, 14 & 15th of Feb
McCooleys 46-50 Wood Street L1 4AQ Live showing of the Liverpool v Porto game with 241 cocktails for bored girlfriends 14/02/18 7:45-10:45pm
Liverpool Arts Society are hosting ‘Date Night’ Heebie Jeebies Live music all night, speed dating, beer pong dares, blind dates, salsa classes & interactive games with prizes for £5 entry 16/02/18 8-12