Op-Ed: Love me, love me not: Why Galentine’s Day should be equally celebrated as Valentine’s Day

A+cup+of+Valentine%27s+Day+candies+are+scattered+across+a+table.+On+Feb.+13%2C+the+annual+Galentine%27s+Day+celebration+is+held%2C+which+ceremonializes+and+commemorates+the+gift+of+friendship+for+all.

Photo credit: Element5 Digital from Unsplash.com, licensed for reuse

A cup of Valentine’s Day candies are scattered across a table. On Feb. 13, the annual Galentine’s Day celebration is held, which ceremonializes and commemorates the gift of friendship for all.

By Vaughan Anoa'i, Editor in Chief

Heart-shaped Hershey kisses. Pink and red balloons. Life-size stuffed teddy bears embroidered with the phrase, “I love you.” Red roses. Assorted candy, all different shapes, colors and sizes. Cupid. Sappy social media posts. All things directly associated with Valentine’s Day. The one day a year where romantic partners must re-confess their love to one another, through never-ending gifts and continuous acts of affection.

February is a month dominated by notable events and celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, Black History Month, Groundhog Day, the Super Bowl and of course, Valentine’s Day. But the one unofficially official holiday that is often left out and forgotten is Galentine’s Day.

According to Urban Dictionary, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on Feb. 13 and is a holiday dedicated to showering your closest friends with even more love and attention than you typically would on a normal occasion. This coming month will mark the 11th year anniversary of Galentine’s Day, as it originally derived from the hit television show “Parks and Recreation.” This cultural phenomenon is one that I’m proud to say I celebrate, as it marks a day where women of all ages can come together to celebrate, lift up and praise one another.

It is no secret that the history and origins surrounding Valentine’s Day are enveloped in mystery, while alternatively, Galentine’s Day is a candid American commodity whose background is fairly well-known across the United States and beyond.

Even though Galentine’s Day is a holiday that is primarily celebrated by women, it stills acts as an outlet for all people, regardless of gender, to come together to cherish and celebrate the gift of friendship.

Unlike Valentine’s Day, this holiday isn’t incentive-based and entirely wrapped around how many gifts one can buy for another, no pun intended. Valentine’s Day is often criticized for its materialistic outlook on what love should look like within relationships and tends to veer more toward money, rather than sincerity.

Coupled with the effects of social media during various holiday seasons, feelings of anxiety, stress and insecurity may arise, as Valentine’s Day is known for unintentionally perpetuating FOMO. Galentine’s however, focuses on the significance of spending time with your friends and emphasizing your gratitude and appreciation for all that they do.

But this year, celebrations have to be put on hold thanks to the novel COVID-19 virus, which continues to lurk at every corner. But, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Galentine’s Day is something that can easily be celebrated virtually, whether you gather all of your friends on a Zoom or FaceTime call to chat, or even choose to host a Netflix party, you have full reign to celebrate in a variety of ways.

If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is the importance of friendship and connection in times of hardship. So this Galentine’s Day, I ask that you call or text your friends, or at least try to celebrate this holiday in some capacity for everyone is deserving and loved.

But you don’t need a bouquet of roses or chocolate box from See’s Candy to know that.