Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14, and we are ready to shower our significant others with love and tokens of our affection. This day of love is celebrated in so many ways, it is always exciting to see what new traditions are included or created year after year. Whether it is elaborate engagements, intimate dinners for two, spending time with family, or the most recent variation ‘Galentine’s Day’. It is a holiday we all can enjoy!
History of Valentine's Day
The believed origins is that it came from the feast for the patron saints named Valentine, by the Catholic Church during the in 496 AD. This was a way to over shadow and later replace the deemed brutal Pagan festival of Lupercalia. This festival was celebrated at the beginning of spring and paid homage to the Roman God of Agriculture, Faunus, on February 15. A goat and dog would be sacrificed symbolizing fertility and purity, respectively. This would then involve the hide of the goat being torn into strips, dipped in the sacrificial blood, and painted across the women and crops.
Despite there being many Valentines associated with the patron saints day, historians believe that the romanticized element of how Valentine’s Day is celebrated today came from a priest who was martyred by emperor Claudis II Gothicus in around 270 CE. Varying stories talk about different St Valentines with some saying one was marrying couples in secret to prevent men going off to war, another healed the blind, and the next wrote a message to his daughter signed ‘your Valentine’. There is also a possibility that they could be the same person!
It was during the 1400s that the day was associated with romance. Messages, or ‘Valentines’ as they were called, began to appear. Hand written letters and poems declaring affections of love became more and more popular. In the mid-1800s, Valentine’s cards began to be commercially produced and traditional gifts were candy and flowers, especially red roses symbolizing love and beauty.
Today, Valentine’s Day has become inclusive of friends and family to show how much you care and love them. Companies have seized the opportunity to fit their products and services into the Valentine’s Day period to benefit from the sales boost, as it continues to grow each year.
Valentine's Day timeline
Modern Valentine’s Day Celebrations
Celebrations and tokens of affection are becoming more and more elaborate — engagements, luxurious holidays and cars are not uncommon.
Holiday of Love Commercialised
The beginning of mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards, these regularly pictured Cupid, the Roman God of Love, and birds as it was believed mid-February was when their mating season began.
The First Valentine’s Day Card
Letters and messages were all personally handmade and shared amongst high society declaring their love intentions, these would be written on special decorative Valentine’s Day paper.
Catholicism Replaces Lupercalia
The first Valentine’s Day – replacing the Lupercalia festival, celebrated on February 15, by Pope Gelasius I, to honor many early martyrs named Valentine.
Valentine's Day - Survey Results
According to one of the top New York PR Firms:
VALENTINE’S DAY IS LESS POPULAR AMONG MEN THAN WOMEN
While 13% of men say Valentine’s Day is their favorite holiday, 8% of men absolutely hate it. Meanwhile, 13% of women claim Valentine’s Day is their favorite holiday, compared to just 5% who hate it.
WOMEN ENJOY THE SINGLE LIFE MORE THAN MEN DO
Only 9% of women are single and actively searching for a boyfriend, compared to 13% of men who say they are single and want a girlfriend.
VALENTINE’S DAY ISN’T JUST FOR UNMARRIED PEOPLE
Although 19% of married Americans admit that Valentine’s Day was a much bigger deal before they were married, 46% still celebrate Valentine’s Day with their spouse.
Valentine's Day FAQs
Where can I get Valentine’s Day gift ideas?
Many website publications, such as “Cosmopolitan”, “Good Housing Keeping”, and “My Mommy Style” have reference guides with amazing ideas, ranging from the traditional to the more creative.
Is Valentine’s Day a National holiday?
Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday as government offices and schools are open and public transport run their usual schedules.
Where are the most romantic places to spend Valentine’s Day?
There are so many options nowadays, the traditional choice is the city of love, Paris, France. However, the Maldives, Rome and the Caribbean are becoming more and more popular. Check out “Expedia”, or “Kayak” for short break deals. If you do not wish to go abroad, you can create your own romantic place at home or a local significant place to you both.
Valentine's Day Activities
Make your own card
Creating your own personalized card, it is not only a thoughtful sentiment, but also the way it was done in days of old. You can also add a heartfelt poem, whether you write this yourself, or borrow one from any of the iconic love writers such as Yeats, Browning or Shakespeare.
Plan a proposal to remember
Take your love to the next stage and surprise them with a proposal. Create an experience for lasting memories you will share together, there is no better day than on the day of love! Depending on what is special for the both of you – plan a private meal or holiday, spell out a personal message in rose petals and candles, or visit the place you first met. Get your family and friends involved to share in this special moment and help plan your loved one’s dream proposal.
Create lasting memories
Extend your Valentine’s Day gift beyond February 14 by making a photo album of your time together. This can be time later spent going down memory lane, on a rainy day indoors or anniversary. Include places you have explored together, nights out and significant milestones in your relationship.
Take The Valentine's Day Quiz
World Celebrations Of Love
National Chocolate Day
Being amongst the largest cocoa suppliers in the world, Valentine’s Day in Ghana is National Chocolate Day, restaurants menus and festivals are themed around chocolate and music.
Pets are loved on too
Western countries are increasingly including their pets in the holiday, gifting dog friendly chocolate treats and other themed gifts.
Remembering your anniversary made easy
February 14, is the most common anniversary date in the Philippines, many young couples marry in a special mass gala event on this day.
Known by any other name
In Sweden, February 14 is known as ‘All Heart’s Day’. It is not an official national holiday but flower purchases are at their peak, only second to Mother’s Day.
A reverse of the tradition
The men in Japan are the ones who are romanced during this holiday, the women give their men a traditional homemade chocolate called ‘hommei-choco’.
Why We Love Valentine's Day
The possibilities are endless
The day can be defined or redefined, as the individual wants it to be. Celebrations can be the traditional flowers and chocolates, a public or private celebration, or your own form of Valentine’s Day as to what it means to you.
Not just for couples
This holiday can be shared with friends and family relations too. It is an all-inclusive culture when celebrating Valentine’s Day. Why not send out multiple cards and messages to spread the love to all you know. Alternatively, you can be someone’s secret admirer.
Stretch the day into a week
If you do not believe a day is enough to show your loved ones how much you love them. You can celebrate the holiday from February 7 leading up to February 14. Each day has a specific meaning including Rose Day, Kiss Day, Promise Day, etc. You can build up the excitement towards a grand finale!