Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated on February 14 each year. Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.
Valentine’s Day is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their partner. They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel. Common symbols of Valentine’s Day are hearts, red roses and Cupid. Valentine’s Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship.
While sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts is traditional in UK, Valentine’s Day has various regional customs. Here are some European traditions for celebrating Valentine’s Day.
In Denmark and Norway, although February 14 is known as Valentinsdag, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. The cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday.
In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag (“All Hearts’ Day”) and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry’s commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture. It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only exceeded by those for Mother’s Day.
Valentine’s Day in Finland (Ystävänpäivä) refers to “Friend’s day”, which is more about remembering all friends rather than focusing solely on romance.
In Estonia Valentine’s Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning.
In Slovenia, St Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day.
In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, which is celebrated on February 24. It is named after a character from Romanian folklore who was supposed to be the son of Baba Dochia. Part of his name is the word drag (“dear”), which can also be found in the word dragoste (“love”). In recent years, Romania has also started celebrating Valentine’s Day, despite already having Dragobete as a traditional holiday. Mostly, valentine couples are seen in restaurants, parks, and other Romanian hot spots Some couples are in a holiday mood and haunt the beautiful Romanian getaways to celebrate the day privately, in the company of their beloved.