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?

Cards

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.

Poems

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

Discussion

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

Comments

ivonayoo's picture
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ivonayoo 16 October, 2013 - 20:15

In my country we celebrate Valentines Day, but it is not so popular to send card to your mates or your crush or something. I think it would be cool if we have done that, I mean, it is sweet and lovely. I have never got something like a present or rose, or something, maybe next year. I hope, fingers crossed :))

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belletrneckova's picture
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belletrneckova 13 September, 2013 - 09:18

Here in Czech republic we do not celebrate Valentine's Day... We celebrate the 1st MAY..It's something like Valentine's Day:)

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SemaSou's picture
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SemaSou 17 August, 2013 - 14:58

Who says Valentine's day says love , embarassament , confessions but especially fun , merriments ..
Here in Tunisia we didn't use to pay this day a real attention but now with the new generations getting more and more influenced by occidental countries this day has been emblazoned as a special day..
However still exist some conservative families who consider such an occasion as an inappropriate one for our country and its traditions ...

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ellen's picture
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ellen 16 August, 2013 - 08:17

Hello everyone.
Here in Azerbaijan the Valentine's day is February 14 celebrated.
We give chocolates,cards and roses to person we love. A lot of people propose to people they love that day.
many couples used to celebrate Valentines in my country . Couples give cards to each other, but it is also traditional to send an anonymous card to anyone you secretly love .
But Valentines day is just ordinary day for singles. Valentines is a special day to confess to someone or spending a special day with someone you love or like .
Of course, I like Valentines day..........................................

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ahmadsamer's picture
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ahmadsamer 15 August, 2013 - 17:54

the valentines day is one of my best days because it 's a lovley day in Egypt we celebrate by the valentines day

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diana777's picture
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diana777 14 August, 2013 - 11:59

In September I'm already going to the university, the faculty of theology.And what about you?Have you already decided ?

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 14 August, 2013 - 12:10

Hi diana777. Well done for getting into university and I hope you enjoy your studies! It should be a very exciting time in your life. Just a reminder to everyone here, this website is specially for people aged 13 to 17. If you are now older than 17, you can keep on visiting LearnEnglish Teens but please don't post any more comments here. Instead, you can post on our adult LearnEnglish page. :) Good luck to everyone entering university this September!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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marish's picture
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marish 11 August, 2013 - 20:06

Thank you too;) I like Yerevan♥. I'm going to study in Yerevan.Where are you going to study?

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diana777's picture
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diana777 28 July, 2013 - 14:05

Here in Armenia we celebrate St Sargis's Day. That day young girls and boys and the ones who are not married eat cake which contains a lot of salt. And that night they see a dream where a girl or a boy gives them a glass of water. That person in the dream is the one they will marry.

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yougataga's picture
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yougataga 23 July, 2013 - 20:18

i live in morocco, here mojoraty of people don't celebrate valentine's day because they think that is not islam's custom and there are other goood way to love , honestly i'd rather to celebrate it because i think it refore our relation and love is the sweet thing in life

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SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 22 July, 2013 - 15:55

no I DO not celebrate valentine's day. I do not like it. I think that is the stupids day

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happiness_di's picture
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happiness_di 22 July, 2013 - 15:27

I don't celebrate Valentine's Day because I haven't fall in love yet :) but hope I will soon
And in Russia people are celebrating it, people who are in love, I mean)

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elphie46's picture
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elphie46 16 July, 2013 - 10:47

Hey im from turkey
and here, people who have boy/girlfriend celebrate it and enjoy it . But MOSTLY people who havnt got a mate post tweets including hatred :D but they are not bad they are just funny both funny and jealousy not with anger :))
To me,i would love to have my own valentine s day with my prospective future mate :D that would be more romantic :))

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Souby's picture
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Souby 28 June, 2013 - 23:56

Well... I live in Tunisia and for me, I don't celebrate Valentine's Day .
But, there are who celebrate this day, by sending present to each other.. :) especially to their wives and girlfriends :)) or by taking photos... and also, celebrating the valentin's day with many others ways :) like giving chocolate :D

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