First News - - The Week Ahead -

IN the UK, it’s known as that spe­cial day when cou­ples show their love for one an­other by ex­chang­ing cards, roses and boxes of cho­co­lates. But what about the rest of the world? How are they feel­ing the love this Valen­tine’s Day? WHERE DID VALEN­TINE’S DAY COME FROM?

It’s thought that Valen­tine’s Day be­gan in Ro­man times (pos­si­bly even be­fore that), with a fes­ti­val called Lu­per­calia. Farm­ers would cel­e­brate Lu­per­calia and hope to get rid of evil spir­its. Chris­tians later took own­er­ship of the fes­ti­val, and named the day af­ter Saint Valen­tine.

Saint Valen­tine was a bishop of Rome who be­lieved in love, and spent much of his time se­cretly mar­ry­ing peo­ple to­gether – some­thing which was against the law at the time. Un­for­tu­nately, he was caught and ex­e­cuted by Ro­man em­peror Claudius in the year 269AD. While the day con­tin­ued to be cel­e­brated, it wasn’t un­til the 14th cen­tury that Valen­tine’s Day be­came as­so­ci­ated with love and the tra­di­tions we know to­day grew from there.

The hol­i­day is now huge all over the world, and pretty much ev­ery­where has their own tra­di­tions! Here are three of our faves.


Here in the UK, many peo­ple ex­change ro­man­tic gifts on Valen­tine’s Day – there’s lots of card-swap­ping and present-giv­ing among cou­ples. But there are lots of other, more un­usual, tra­di­tions across the UK every year on Valen­tine’s Day. For ex­am­ple, did you know that

in Wales some peo­ple give their part­ners wooden spoons? Yep – they’re called love spoons!


It’s be­come more and more pop­u­lar for thou­sands of cou­ples to gather in one place and get mar­ried at the same time on Valen­tine’s Day. They’re go­ing to need one BIG buf­fet to feed that lot!


Valen­tine’s Day, or ‘Valentins­dag’ as it is called in this area of the world, is a day for all those bud­ding po­ets out there! Tra­di­tion­ally, men send short funny love po­ems to peo­ple they like, anony­mously. The re­cip­i­ent then has to guess who their ad­mirer is – if they guess right, the man has to buy them an Easter egg later in the year! These let­ters are known as ‘gaekke­brev’. Cute!

Newly mar­ried cou­ples kiss dur­ing a mass wed­ding in the Philip­pines

A tra­di­tional Welsh wooden love spoon

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