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What is Valentine's Day?

Yes, it's here again. February 14. Valentine's Day. It's probably the first thing you marked on your calendar when you bought it. Preferably after Mother's, Father's, and Grandparents Days. Before Boss and Secretary Days.

You often ask yourself: is Valentine's Day really necessary? Was this day created simply to help large multinationals get even bigger while depleting your wallet just weeks before you part with your tax returns?

I don't read minds, so I don't know why this day was created. But I do know that this day is as symbolically important as anything else.

First of all, if you really needed a special day to show your affections to your special someone, I recommend you to read a bookshelf of self-improvement books right away. Needing a special day to make her (/him) feel special is a regrettable thought and you should be ashamed of yourself. That's the same as needing Canada Day to feel Canadian. Or needing Thanksgiving to be thankful for everything you know.

Rather, Valentine's Day is about going the extra mile. There is no day that is more romantic than Valentine's Day. Well, maybe except Groundhog's Day if you love animals. At any rate, Valentine's Day is like New Year's Day. As people, especially us engineering students, become busier by the minute, pressured to overachieve, Valentine's Day gives couples an excuse to get away from the cruel foreign world, and to settle into something warm, fuzzy, or intimately close. It gives two busy bees a reason to let down their guards for a while, and concentrate on what's truly memorable.

Granted, we do have Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and all those other statutory holidays. However, Valentine's Day is unique in that it is the only day that commemorates the magic of love, which, in its true form, has helped to keep this society sane, progressive, and civil. The love that Valentine's Day celebrates is the one that exists not because it was forced upon people by birth. Rather, Valentine's love is one that is developed between two otherwise complete strangers. It's the type of love that demands time, patience, and sacrifices from both parties to sustain itself. It is comprised of intangible factors of emotional dependence, physical attraction and professional respect. It then rewards its pursuers with a sense of satisfaction that cannot be bought from the most upscale store, described by the most eloquent poet, or expressed by the most talented artist. These are the special qualities about this love that makes Valentine's Day worthy to have.

Valentine's Day is not only for couples, however. In fact, the original tradition of Valentine's Day was a day for unattached prospects to find someone to share their time with. That happened when singles threw their names into a hat, and names were drawn to pair people up for the day. Other historical events included getting to know the first person of your preference you see on the street, who will be your date for the next year, and hopefully beyond.

This gives another meaning to Valentine's Day. It gives singles an excuse to go out and get to know someone new. Finding a mate can be a frustrating and at times admittedly depressing process. For that, Valentine's Day, being a day of love, helps to lift someone's spirit by just being there. One can actually smell the perfume of fate that day, which is surprisingly close to the smell of Tim Hortons doughnuts. In any event, if you are waiting for things to happen, be more susceptive and proactive for a change. You are allowed to be different on Valentine's Day. After all, it's the one day of the year when passionate emotions are allowed to breathe and roam freely. If anything, Valentine's Day is the day when single people become more focused on their life than calculus. Turn thoughts into some action. Be open to the possibility that Valentine's Day will be the day that will change your life.