Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country? In the UK it’s the most romantic day of the year!

February 14th is traditionally a celebration of love, so how do people in the UK mark the occasion?


Sending a Valentine’s card to a loved one is a custom that started more than a century ago. Couples give cards to each other, but it is also traditional to send an anonymous card to anyone you secretly love. This practice is particularly common in schools and can be a source of great amusement and embarrassment as everyone tries to work out who sent a card and who has a secret admirer! Valentine’s Day symbols on cards include hearts designs, doves, and the figure of the winged angel, Cupid.


The card might also feature a poem. Probably the most famous lines from a Valentine’s Day poem are:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Honey is sweet, and so are you.

There are some ironic variations on this poem such as:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
You look like a monkey and smell like one too!

Mobile love

Millions of people use digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cards, social media posts or printable greeting cards. Texting your Valentine message is an easy (although maybe not very romantic!) option. Valentine’s Day text messages include:

  • WUBMV – will you be my Valentine
  • xoxoxoxoxo – hugs and kisses
  • LUWAM<3 – love you with all my heart
  • ImRdy4Luv – I’m ready for love
  • :'-) – I’m so happy, I’m crying
  • ILUVU – I love you

Flowers and chocolates

As well as cards, February 14th is also a day for giving gifts. Traditionally, men give chocolates or flowers to their wives or girlfriends. There are lots of websites offering advice on which Valentine’s present to buy. Popular choices include red roses, a box of chocolates, romantic songs, a phone, jewellery, a photo frame or perfume.

Unusual gifts

Some people think that flowers and chocolates seem a little ordinary and so they look for a more unusual gift. For romantic people with plenty of cash, these gifts could include a helicopter flight, a balloon ride, the chance to test-drive a Ferrari or an all-day session at a health club.

Others, however, complain that Valentine’s Day is yet another opportunity for ever-increasing commercialism. For true romantics, the gift of love is enough. Valentine's Day is a popular day to either propose or get married – you’d never forget your wedding anniversary!

Valentine’s Day: love it or hate it?

We asked a few Brits about their views on Valentine’s Day and here’s what they said. Following the tradition of Valentine’s Day, all the comments below are anonymous.

Love it! I always send cards to my mates – and my boyfriend, of course.

I would prefer to go without it. I don’t want gifts or money or anything like that. Knowing that I’m appreciated and that I can make others happy is good enough for me.

I got a card last year – but I still don’t know who sent it. I haven’t got a girlfriend.

My mum sends me a card every year. It’s sort of sweet but I think I’m getting a bit old for that now.

It’s just really humiliating. I’ve never received a Valentine’s card in my life. A day to switch off my phone because I know I’m not going to get any messages.

My boyfriend sent me a text message last year on Valentine’s Day. I suppose that’s kind of romantic but I’d rather have a present or even a real card.

I sent an anonymous Valentine’s card to a boy in my class when I was younger. Then my brother told him it was from me. I was so embarrassed!

I’m single so it’s definitely irritating. It’s too commercial anyway.

If a girl likes me I don’t need to waste money sending her a card just because it’s a tradition.

Chocolates, roses, cards, presents. Bring it on! I love Valentine’s Day!

Total votes: 737


Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? If not, is there a similar day in your country?


cklj's picture
cklj 12 February, 2016 - 20:17

In my country we don't traditionally celebrate Valentine's day because it's a catholic holiday. However most young couples celebrate this day and buy presents for their loved ones. In my country on the same day, 14th February, we celebrate Sveti Trifun, which can be translated into English like The Day of The Wine. So, every year on that day there are plenty of discussions about what holiday should we be celebrating. I think people start to celebrate both of this holidays because they are both unique and special.

88 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 14 February, 2016 - 08:35

That's similar to my country. Goverment has never considered it a holiday but many teenagers ( and adults) often buy gifts for their boy'girlfriends ( and life partners).
But do you know why annually, the Vietnamese people don't have to work on Valentine's day ? They often stay at home or hang out with their lovers all day. (^------^). Because we have ten days off for Lunar New Year Eve and these holidays cover Valentine's day . That's coincident ( and great ) , right ?

113 users have voted.
youaretheonlyone29's picture
youaretheonlyone29 12 February, 2016 - 13:38

I don't enjoy valentine's day very much although my friends and relatives celebrate it every year. It's weird that people with their love walking around, chatting at someone who haven't got a guy/girl yet. It's definitely not a good feeling :)))

109 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 11 February, 2016 - 08:31

With bears?? Who are they, gianggiang? Teddy Bears?
Vietnamese teenagers are cool, aren't they??
‎  ∧ ∧      
‎ ( ´・ω・) 
‎ /  ⌒ヽ   


112 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 11 February, 2016 - 09:20

bear. I think it is a funny word. It means boy or girlfriend. Don't people in your country call like that ?

we also call single person ' FA" ( forever alone) and clumsy students ' chicken". my mom said that they originated from some films and magazines.

99 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 13 February, 2016 - 23:53

Oh, I didn't know that. I don't think of such a word which compares people with animals in my language. We could say he's bearish (like a bear) but we don't call someone bear or chicken. Language represents how we see things, interesting, huh?
(ง ´͈౪`͈)ว

95 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 14 February, 2016 - 08:46

Hello,and Happy Valentine's day.
As I promised, I've chosen two ( romantic, funny and meaningful - I think so) songs. I hope you enjoy it !
1) Baby I love you ( Tiffany Alvord )
2) Oah ( Alexander Rybak ) --( I wasn't able to hide my smiling face when watching the video.)
Happy Valentine's day, Hope all couples have a sweet day and warm moments with their love.

100 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 15 February, 2016 - 05:44

Hi Giangginag!
ε(*'-')з†.*・゚☆Happyヾ(゚∇゚)ノValentine's day☆゚・*.†ε('-'*)з

I appreciate your great music selection for us!
My GF and I shared them in a laugh after listening the romantic song!
You're really insightful, aren't you? :))

Owing to your help, I think she has snapped out of a bad mood!
She's simple but has a sense of honest, …lovable, isn't she!?

Again, my view on Valentine's Day?
Well, love it for one thing and another!

∵⃝♡⍢⃝ ⍤⃝ ⍨⃝ ∵⃝♡⍢⃝ ⍤⃝ ⍨⃝ ∵⃝♡⍢⃝

95 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 7 February, 2016 - 16:20

My view on Valentine's Day?
This year, I'm just feeling blue…
First, I've got an exam all day.
Second, I was known that my girlfriend was going to eat out with her classmate as is customary. So I'm in the wrong mood!!!
Well, I'm thinking about saving time and doing something for myself at home….!

103 users have voted.
iva10's picture
iva10 14 November, 2015 - 12:35

No don't celebrate Valenties day.It's boring and it's a bit emberresing for girls to give presents to boys.So that's why.

93 users have voted.
BalanCrina's picture
BalanCrina 3 September, 2015 - 17:40

i am from romania and no, i don't celebrate valentine's day in my country.In my opinin it's a superficial event because i don't need a one day for express my love and feeling to the loved one.I can buy chocholate or another sweets for my boyfriend when i,tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.I don't need a event to express my feeling,i think that i can do this when i want.

108 users have voted.
Perfection_Violet's picture
Perfection_Violet 26 August, 2015 - 06:50

I do celebrate valentine day, but I never got any cards, a bucket of flowers, or even chocolate.
But now I have a crush with my senior. I want to confess my feelings through a card because I'm kind of shy. Is there any suggestion? Feel free to tell me.

100 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 15 February, 2015 - 10:29

Yes, we celebrate Valentine's Day, although a market is more and more leading a commercialized farce...!

101 users have voted.
iva10's picture
iva10 14 February, 2015 - 17:23

Yes i celebrate Valentines day,but i don t have a boyfriend jet.Happy Valentines day everyone,wishes you iva10.

101 users have voted.
Wesal's picture
Wesal 11 February, 2015 - 08:21

We do not celebrate Valentine's day, but if someone love with each other in my mind there is no need for Valentine's day for lovers every day even every second is valentine's day moment, please enjoy your life with lovers, wherever you are.

104 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 10 February, 2015 - 12:17

Hi maihuong,
I'm not sure what you mean by FA. Can you explain? 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

89 users have voted.
duonglinhha3333's picture
duonglinhha3333 1 March, 2015 - 09:10

Hi! I know the meaning of FA is forever alone that means you donnot have boy/girl friend or husband or wife, still alone.

91 users have voted.
CrazyArman's picture
CrazyArman 18 May, 2014 - 17:47

I am from Bosnia and Hezegovina,we celebrate it with buying gifts,flowers,cards,... But,if you like your should show your love everyday,not only on February 14th ...

18 users have voted.