Valentine's Day is a holiday marked on February 14 that celebrates love in all its forms, whether it's platonic love or romantic love. Often, people express love on Valentine's Day by giving their loved one (also known as Valentine) a token of their affection, like candy, flowers, or a handwritten note in Valentine's Day's signature colors, pink and red. These tokens of affection are commonly known as valentines.
When someone claims you as their "valentine," it simply means that they want to show you affection. Your valentines can include the person you're dating or married to, family members, and even pets (though you shouldn't expect them to give you a valentine in return).
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What Does it Mean to Be Someone's Valentine?
When someone considers you their valentine, they will likely give you a token of their love — whether that’s flowers, chocolates, or a card. They might also expect you to return the favor.
The History of Valentine’s Day
The true origin of the holiday is vague and shrouded in mystery, but many historians believe the celebration of Valentine's Day began as early as the 14th century.
A popular theory is that the holiday was named after bishop St. Valentine of Terni. St. Valentine secretly married young couples in Rome to spare the husbands from war, which was against the emperor's orders.
Valentine's Day Cards
Commercially printed Valentine's Day cards began appearing in Europe in the late 1700s and became popular in the U.S. in the mid-1800s.
Throughout history, Valentine's Day cards commonly depicted (and still depict) Cupid, the Roman God of love. With his bow and arrow, the naked and winged cherub is said to launch arrows at unsuspecting lovers, making them fall madly in love with each other.
Hearts are another image practically synonymous with Valentine's Day because they traditionally symbolize love and emotion. Hearts cover every card, gift, and decoration related to this holiday of love.
Today, Valentine's Day is commonly celebrated in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia. If you grew up in one of these countries, chances are you exchanged valentines with your classmates in elementary school each February.
Hallmark estimates that 145 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year, which makes it the second-largest card-sending holiday (Christmas being number one).
How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
There are several ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. Some people go full-steam, setting up heart-shaped pink and red decorations with frilly accents, while others keep it simple with a card or verbal greeting. There's no rule about how you should celebrate Valentine's Day, but here are a few popular ways to spend the holiday of love:
- Have dinner at a nice restaurant
- See a movie with loved ones
- Make a romantic meal for your partner at home
- Send cards to friends and family
- Book a night at a hotel with your loved one
- Watch the sunset
TIP: If you're going to a bar or restaurant for Valentine's Day, make a reservation as soon as possible. Valentine's Day is a popular day to go out to eat and drink, so nice restaurants fill up quickly. Making a reservation early will ensure you have a nice, stress-free evening out.
Valentine’s Day Crafts
Making crafts is a common way to celebrate any holiday, and Valentine's Day is no exception. Whether you're planning activities for kids or looking for ways to celebrate with your BFF this year, there are several crafts you can tackle. Check out all of our Valentine's Day crafts to get in the holiday spirit.
Valentine's Day Food
Cooking a romantic dinner, baking a sweet treat, or serving wine and chocolate is a great (and tasty) way to celebrate Valentine's Day. Try these ideas: