Valentine's Day Traditions

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There are many time-honored traditions associated with the celebration of Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is a celebration of love for many couples. Every February 14th in the Americas and the United States, it is a day out of the year to take time from your busy schedule to spend time with the one you love. Celebrations on Valentine's Day can vary in size and scope, but at their root they are a chance to tell the one you love how much you treasure having them in your life and to celebrate shared experiences.


Valentine's Day is named for the Christian martyr Saint Valentine. In the Catholic faith until the late 1960s, Valentine's Day was actually a celebration that was eleven days long. In the fourteenth century, writer Geoffrey Chaucer is said to have written the first poem that associated the holiday with a celebration of love. His poem writes of "love birds" Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia.


There are several traditions associated with Valentine's Day, including the sending of cards, going out on a "date" with your loved one, the giving of flowers and candy, and attending or creating romantic dinners. It is even the date in which many couples choose to join together in marriage ceremonies. Most notable of these traditions is the sending of cards, often store-bought and sometimes handmade, that are generally called "Valentines." These cards feature lines like "I love you," "Be mine," or even love poems written by the giver or transcribed from famous love poems and sonnets.


The day is often marked with the colors red and pink, which have overtime become the holiday's official colors. The day also features pictures of hearts, cupids with bows and arrows targeting lovers, harps and more.


Valentine's Day functions primarily as a day for couples to show love and appreciation to the one you love. It has been extended as a day for people everywhere to acknowledge their love to any of their loved ones, including family members.


Valentine's Day, while originally noted as a Catholic celebration, has achieved significance with many people regardless of faith. Some people are divided on this day as well. Some may see it as simply a ploy by the greeting card and candy companies to boost their own profits on this day. Some also find the day to be a time to make up for past indiscretions or lapses in appreciation over the rest of the year. Still some see it as a time to mourn the fact that they do not have someone to celebrate the day with.

About this Author

Elizabeth Holli Wood has been a print and online freelance writer since 2003. Her work has appeared on various websites, including and Wood earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and mass communications studies from the University of Florida.

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