The first Valentine’s Day was in the year 496! Having a particular Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a Roman festival. The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February – officially the start of their springtime.
Valentine’s Day in the UK
According to a 2017 study more than half (52%) of the UK population didn’t plan to buy a gift for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. 48% didn’t even plan on buying a card.
However, the study conducted for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) calculated that the people in the UK would spend almost half a billion pounds on Valentine’s Day gifts, men spending about 40 pounds each, which is nearly twice as much as women. The study also predicted that the average spending on Valentine’s Day would rise 12% compared to the year before.
Valentine’s Cards and Dinners
Like Halloween, Valentine’s Day is a celebration embraced by commerce and used heavily in marketing. Cupid, love hearts, red roses, lovebirds, and the colour red is used to symbolize romantic love on stuffed toys, cards, chocolates, and other gifts. It is common for couples to eat a romantic meal together on this day, and restaurants are often booked out.
More than 25 million cards are sent for Valentine’s Day each year. Some people also send Valentine’s Day cards to friends and family to show their love and appreciation.
Is Valentine’s Day a Public Holiday?
Valentine’s Day is only an observance, so unless it falls on a Sunday, shops and banks should be open. However, restaurants, hotels, movie theatres, and other romantic venues might be very busy. Be sure to book your room, table, or tickets well in advance.
Here are some suggestions for highly rated restaurants in the local area;