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  • Gianna Porco

Galentine’s Day VS Valentine’s Day

This January, when I opened up my 2024 calendar and looked through it, I took note of what day my birthday fell on and the dates of different holidays. When I came across the month of February I, of course, knew that the calendar would mark February 14th as Valentine’s Day, but what shocked me was that the day before, February 13th, had words written in on the date as well. Those words read “Galentine’s Day.”

Technically Valentine’s Day itself is a holiday based on a martyr who married soldiers in secret and was executed as punishment. It may seem ironic that the day many couples devote to love and romance to is also a day associated with martyrdom, but what is also ironic is that the ‘holiday’ coming the day before has gained popularity. It seems as if there exist more ‘Galentine’s day’ celebrators than Valentine’s day ones.

Galentine’s day is a day many people tend to mock because of its association with single people instead of romance. Galentine’s Day is typically observed by single girls. This makes the day easy to celebrate and easy to ‘make fun’ because the day is celebrated among friends. Some consider ‘Galentine’s’ as a mens for single people to avoid depression during a period devoted to romance.

Valentine’s Day has typically never been celebrated as much as other holidays, which makes sense because only those who are in a relationship can ‘truly celebrate’ Valentine’s Day. However, when you walk into your local Target, Walgreens, CVS, Hallmark, or supermarket in the months of January and February one will see plenty of heart shaped everything: heart shaped chocolates, candies, stuffed animals, the like. Cards, decorations, and small gifts will be covered in pinks, reds, and other designs and patterns that correspond with the theme of ‘love.’

Now, anyone can understand that those who are single might feel left out and forgotten. However, ever since Galentine's day became more celebrated (because “friends come before guys”), a majority of purchasers of Valentine’s decor celebrate the ‘fake’ holiday coming the day before. This led me to realize, especially after seeing Galentine's Day in my calendar, that Galentine's Day is just as the one it mocks.

Friends (‘gals’) will get together and celebrate their friendships and will decorate with hearts, pink and red decor, eat valentine’s day themed foods, etc.- they make a party out of it! I personally know more people who are single and celebrate Galentine's Day than I do that celebrate Valentine's Day at this point.

Even if someone is not in a romantic relationship, she can still be in friendships or have close ties to family. Someone can even have relationships with herself like the icon Ariana Grande mentions in her hit song “Thank You Next.”

In terms of party decor, if looking for inspo, Pinterest, Tik-Tok, Instagram, and Facebook have a good selection of ideas. Some Galentine’s Day decoration ideas I found ‘cute’- included a heart balloon photo wall, red and pink streamers/ribbons, heart shaped/pink and red dessert or snack boards, watermelon and strawberry heart fruit pops, and pink and red plates/silverware (obviously).

For activities, friends could paint/make heart-shaped pizza, make heart lunchbox cakes or other valentine’s-themed desserts, take polaroids, and more! I don’t know how useful this information is; personally, I don’t see myself using any of this inspo nor do I plan to have a ‘Galentine’s Day party,’ but I did save some of these ideas to my Pinterest board “just because.”

All things considered, shouldn’t Galentine's Day be the ‘real’ holiday of love? Even if Valentine's Day and Galentine's Day are both rather ‘artificial holidays,’ why can’t they both be considered holidays? They both have spots on the calendar and the ‘season of love’ should be enjoyed by everyone, even if people are not in a romantic relationship- because everyone should hopefully have someone they love, even if not romantically.


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