Valentine’s Day this year felt more like Ash Wednesday than Valentine’s Day.
Maybe that’s because it was Ash Wednesday as well – a fact that I normally would not have paid much attention to at all, seeing as I’m not Catholic. But, seeing as I now go to Catholic school and everything here is so deep in its own Catholicism that there’s a crucifix in every classroom, it was hard to miss.
Perhaps the most prominent sign of the start of Lent season here, other than the kids walking around with ashes on their foreheads, was that the dining hall was completely meat-free on Wednesday, and will be meat-free every Friday now until the end of Lent.
The Friday bit doesn’t so much annoy me (okay, it does sort of annoy me, but not too strongly), but the general lack of any Valentines-themed food at the dining hall on actual Valentines Day was kind of strange, especially considering this is a place that went all-out with themed desserts for holidays like Halloween, the feast of St. Francis (is that a holiday?), and pretty much any home football game last season.
The overall vibe of campus was also definitely more somber than usually, which I guess was a result of the Ash Wednesday thing. Like I said, I’m not Catholic, but I can appreciate some of the traditions. Still, it was weird that people weren’t more celebratory about Valentine’s Day here, and I’m not sure if that was as a result of it being Ash Wednesday or if that’s just not a thing college kids care about.
Personally, it’s a holiday I really enjoy, even if I don’t really do anything to celebrate it anymore. I like seeing couples together, and I like to see the lengths that people will go to to show their love for one another. I guess I’ve just bought into the commercial aspect of it all, but I think that can still be fun.
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