As the shops are flooded with cards, red roses and heart shaped boxes of chocolates, at this time of year you simply can’t escape Valentine’s Day. Said to have originated from a Pagan fertility festival and later claimed as a Christian feast day to honour Saint Valentine, this popular day is now marked around the world to celebrate love and romance. Interestingly many people credit the writer Chaucer and later Shakespeare with first linking Valentine’s Day to a more romantic notion…and if anyone can speak with authority on love and romance it’s Shakespeare himself right?
So what are the top traditions associated with the most romantic day of the year?
Perhaps the most well known tradition is that of the Valentine’s card. Whether from a loved one or anonymous ‘be my Valentine’, letter boxes will be a flutter all over the world today as cards drop onto the mat.
It was said to be the Duke of Orleans who first started this tradition back in 1415, when he sent a card to his wife whilst he was locked up in the Tower of London! However it wasn’t until the early 20th century that Valentine’s cards started being mass produced. These days you can get a card to say pretty much anything- or why not make one yourself for an even more personal touch?
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
In Victorian times the language of flowers was well recognised as a way to give a message to your loved one, with each flower having a specific meaning. Nowadays red roses have become synonymous with Valentine’s Day- no surprise as they have been considered to be romantic since ancient times. In Roman mythology they are even associated with Venus, the goddess of love.
Interestingly pink roses are traditionally sent in the more early stages of a relationship, and are said to signify admiration and appreciation. However in Denmark they don’t go for roses at all but rather exchange elegant pressed white snowdrops!
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP
It’s not just couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day- across the world this time of year is also a time to celebrate friends. In Estonia the 14th February marks friendship day, or ‘Sobrapaev’, which includes couples, friends and family. On Brazil’s lovers day, or ‘Dia dos Namorados’, giving gifts isn’t just for couples either and families often get together over a celebratory meal. In Mexico Valentine’s Day is called ‘El Dia del Amor y la Amistad’, or ‘the day of love and friendship, whilst Argentina celebrate Valentine’s for a whole week, culminating in Friendship Day!
And don’t forget the more recent Galentine’s Day on the 13th February, when people celebrate their platonic love and friendship. So whether you’re single or paired up, there’s a celebration for everyone.
NOT FEELING IT?
If all this romance is just a little too much, you might want to head over to Ghana where the 14th February marks National Chocolate Day instead! Or why not head to Bulgaria where the ‘day of winemakers’ is celebrated on 14th February with a glass of delicious local wine?
Of course failing all that, nothing says I love me than a new pair of shoes…
Click here to treat yourself, we love you 😉 xx