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

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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, 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 last year included: an mp3 player, red roses, a box of chocolates, a CD of 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, 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 or 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: 469
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Discussion

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

Comments

tre_si's picture
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tre_si 13 February, 2013 - 15:11

Yes, of course we celebrate valentine's day in albania. it s celebrated on 14th febrary every year. people who are on a relationship go out and celebrate ts day on diskos and restaurants. i thnk it is celebrated a lot here. how about on other states is or how it is celebrated?

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Siva_lol's picture
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Siva_lol 13 February, 2013 - 14:15

I live in GREECE.We celebrate Valentine's day on 14of February.Usually people give presents to the people they love.Usually we offer hearts of love lyrics,chocolate hearts,cards of love and romantic dinner.At night people go to the restaurant and drink: wine,beer,and they eat Thai food and greek scordila...Love Valentine's girl. ♥♥♥♥Usually eat and tzatzikidion.♥♥♥♥♥

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 13 February, 2013 - 15:29

Hi shandana. Welcome, and have a look round the site. There's a lot of interesting things to read, watch and do. I look forward to reading your comments in the comment boxes!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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tre_si's picture
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tre_si 13 February, 2013 - 15:17

I think you're right because we cannot live without love. love is the most important thing that we have in our lifes

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En Drit's picture
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En Drit 13 February, 2013 - 09:58

Valentine's Day is the most beautiful day for the lovers. I like it a lot, and I celebrate it with my girlfriend!!

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NikichKrasava's picture
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NikichKrasava 13 February, 2013 - 08:08

I'm from Russia and I think that it day for a lovers! But I don't present choclate for people!
because my girlfriend lives in Nikich Krasava country!

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Urchin's picture
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Urchin 13 February, 2013 - 08:07

I'm from Belarus and many, many people of our country like this holyday. On every St. Valintine's Day people present cards and chocolate for each other.

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Christine123's picture
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Christine123 13 February, 2013 - 08:07

I live in the country Nikich krasava and there we celebrate day of St. Nikich! We give each other nikitinki! they are in the form of the holy Nikich! I love my country!

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 13 February, 2013 - 09:55

Hi Christine123,
Hmmmm ... that sounds like a very strange country. ;)
Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Majla123's picture
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Majla123 12 February, 2013 - 20:33

hellow everyone .. im from albania and here there is a valentine day in the same date , 14th february , im a teenager girl , and i like this day and this day doesnt mean just for the couples , it also is the love you have for your family , friends , not even for your boyfriend , but i like having anonymous cards in this day :)

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Viga's picture
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Viga 12 February, 2013 - 05:58

Well, I live in Russia. As for the Russians, we also celebrate this holiday on the 14th of February. For some people it`s a great holiday but for another it`s not. Every person chooses his own way of celebrating this holiday. But sending Valentines cards is the most popular. So you may send a card to everyone you like and want to show someone your love on such a special day. I suppose young people like this holiday much more than older ones. But it`s only my opinion. As for me I celebrate this holiday and like to send cards to my friends.

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Music party 95's picture
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Music party 95 12 February, 2013 - 05:57

People celebrate Valentine's Day in my country. It is a wonderful day!! I like it very much. In this day people usually present chocolates, toys, flowers and valentine cards each other. Valentine's Day is popular with young people. It is not nation holyday that's why older people don't like it but some of them celebrate it.

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Lisa567's picture
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Lisa567 12 February, 2013 - 05:57

I live in Russia. Actually, Valentine's Day is a very popular holiday among Russians, especially among teenagers. Boys and girls buy gifts to each other, for instance plush toys, flowers, chocolates and beautiful cards, etc. It's very nice to watch happy couples sitting in cafes(or cinemas) kissing and hugging.

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Cosmo Myzrail Gorynych's picture
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Cosmo Myzrail G... 12 February, 2013 - 05:43

Ahoy from Kamchatka!
We are from Russia and we do celebrate St. Valentine's day! As usual we celebrate it as British people do - we send cards, give roses and buy chocolate :) But in my view men send cards more often than women - a man should make a "first step towards love". Also I can say that this holiday is more popular among young people rather then adults. (To say truth English teachers make us to celebrate this occasion and to write cards although it isn't an official holiday at all ;D )

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SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 11 February, 2013 - 20:24

ALBANIANS CELEBRATE A LOT ST VALENTINE'S DAY. I THINK THAT IS THE ONLY DAY WHEN ALBANIANS ARE THE LOVEST PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERS. I DO NOT REALLY LIKE THIS DAY.

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