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, 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
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Discussion

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

Comments

jenniferkim's picture
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jenniferkim 9 January, 2013 - 06:47

In my country South Korea, we celebrate Valentine's Day.
We give chocolates,cards and roses to person we love.
A lot of people propose to people they love that day.
I really love Valentine's Day. Yummy chocolates!!!!!!! Love it so much!!
I think Valentine"s Day is the most ramantic day among the whole year.
How cool!! A day for every lovers!!!!!!

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veryberry's picture
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veryberry 2 January, 2013 - 22:50

Although I was raised in England my family came originally from Argentina. I'm not sure if it was really celebrated there but it has never really been a big thing in our family. It is really a shame because I love receiving cards with beautiful quotes on Valentines Day. I would love be able to give them although I am never sure what to write. Thankfully there are lots of internet searches that help. Maybe it does not really matter where you come from so long as you embrace the feeling and fun of valentines day now.

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archi's picture
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archi 2 January, 2013 - 06:06

I'm from India..and we also celebrate Valentine's day..but personally I have no valentine..so I feel dumb for this day

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Ayazhan's picture
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Ayazhan 26 December, 2012 - 13:06

in our country Kazakhstan we celebrate Valentine`s day too.We give to each other diferrent presents like love cards,flowers and anything else!

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dana98's picture
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dana98 19 December, 2012 - 14:21

I'm from Kazakhstan. In my country some people celebrate Valentine's day, but it's not an official holiday. So we have a simmilar day in 15th of April - it called Kozy Korpesh-Bayan Sulu. It called so because of two lovers. It is very interesting story about them, about their unhappy love. In general, i love these holidays, and I try to celebrate both of them))

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Blue Sky's picture
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Blue Sky 13 December, 2012 - 18:45

I live in Serbia. We celebrate Valentine's Day. The lovers celebrate this and they gives a presents. Usually the lovers goes to the restaurant and they have a romance night.

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Siju1D's picture
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Siju1D 9 December, 2012 - 15:52

I live in Colombia and we don't celebrate Valentine's day. We celebrate love and friendship in September playing Secret Friend (In this game we exchange papers and then give a present to the person whose name we got.), and in other countries it is called Secret Santa

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Oli.g's picture
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Oli.g 4 December, 2012 - 08:34

in Denmark were are celebrating all the Amerikan tradition so here in Denmark were are celebrating Valentines day!!!

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paula 3 December, 2012 - 19:04

Here in albania it is also celebrated. Even in here girls and boys give to each-other presents to show their love. Shops al over the towns are decorated with ballons and cupid hearts and there is red colour everywhere.

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LadyLily5000's picture
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LadyLily5000 27 October, 2012 - 19:39

Valentine's Day is celebrating in Montenegro too. But we rather call it St. Trifun's Day. The tradition is like in the UK: the guys or the girls give presents or carts to the people they have deep feelings for.
Two years ago I got a card from a guy who liked me. There was a poem in it. I was surprised, because I have never gotten such a type of card before. Last year I felt so lonely 'cause no one thought about me. :'-(

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LightningWraith's picture
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LightningWraith 21 December, 2012 - 17:57

Wow. So many people from Montenegro. (Including me, of course...) . Anyway... I don't celebrate it...

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rreze's picture
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rreze 4 December, 2012 - 15:51

I'm from Montenegro too.. but I live in Ulcinj.. and people here don't celebrate Valentines day..
Honestly I would like to celebrate it.. even if this isn't a celebration for Muslims.. :D

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margheloves1D's picture
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margheloves1D 11 September, 2012 - 09:15

I'm from Italy and we celebrate Valentine's Day. I don't really love. It reminds me that I'm alone. But it's the most romant day for me :)

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Edelweiss's picture
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Edelweiss 7 September, 2012 - 09:52

Here in Romania the Valentine's Day is a little bit exaggerated. There are enormous hanging heart balloons everywhere, red hearts and Cupidos on the shopwindows. The magazines are full with Valentine tests and ideas. But I still like it, because it's good to know that you are loved.

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Dandelion's picture
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Dandelion 5 July, 2012 - 07:49

Valentine´s day is actually a very beautiful tradition brought by I do know who. Its purpose was to remind people to take notice of people you like and care about them. Making people know that they are precious for us makes them happy. But do we really need to get presents, gifts or treats to feel loved? I know it´s nice and lovely but wouldn ´t we appreciate other ways of saying "I love you"than getting a bear with such words printed on it? For example, just simple words coming out of our beloved ones´mouth, their hug or smile. Don´t be so materialistic. The best things in the world are those you can not touch but only feel with your heart.
Anyway, why should we express our attention and love to beloved ones only on this very day? If we love or like someone we should let them know it every single day of our lives and not just on the Valentine´s day.
As a result, people who are not seeing anyone or are single at that time might feel blue, sad and this just makes them feel even worse.
As far as I am concerned, I like this custom, but I see it much more as a commercial tradition than a celebration of love.
People think buying expensive things means giving love and the more expensive the more love you give.
There are many inventive companies which know how to play with people´s minds and therefore expolit it.

Don´t get tricked by them, but rather call your sweethearts out and take them for a long walk. :)

Valentine´s day in Slovakia is not so popular but also not so unpopular. Those who have partners celebrate it and those who don´t have anyone hate it. So, it´s hard to say.

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Ilda G's picture
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Ilda G 31 January, 2013 - 19:34

Here in Albania the Valentine's day is in 14th..
I don't know if it is same at different countries...

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greenlover10's picture
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greenlover10 9 June, 2012 - 19:35

hi, Im from Indonesia. i think in my country a lot of people celebrate the Valentine days. most of them gave their couple a chocolate. but i seldom celebrate it.

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te-ufo's picture
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te-ufo 7 June, 2012 - 13:39

Hi everybody, I am from the Czech republic and this day isn´t so popular here, but some people celebrate it.

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Peri's picture
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Peri 6 June, 2012 - 09:50

I'm from Armenia. Here we celebrate Valentine's day but we have our traditional "Valentine's day" as well called Saint Sarkis. It is celebrated in February after the Valentine's day. So, we have two such days in the same month and Armenian men have to give presents to their wives and girlfriends twice:)

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Fassamba 19 August, 2013 - 20:52

hi!!! I'm from Senegal! In our country we celebrate Valentine's day. But me I doesn't enjoy this feast too much because I'm in love with someone but this love isn't reciprocal

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Simon's picture
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Simon 5 June, 2012 - 11:02

It's great hearing about how people celebrate Valentine's Day in different countries. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep your comments coming!

I usually buy chocolates for my mum on Valentine's day!!

Simon (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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IBRAzlatanHIMOVIC2's picture
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IBRAzlatanHIMOVIC2 2 June, 2012 - 19:12

I'm from Bosnia, and here we celebrate Valentine's day. There are some pairs really into this but others are not so romantic and find this more likely to be a commercial way of producing money.
Anyway, I think it's quite romantic ♥

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