Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated across the world on the 14th February each year. It is a day when people show their affection and love for others around them by sharing gifts and cards. 

The day gets its name from a famous saint named St Valentine. It is questioned as to who he was, but most believe he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage and St Valentine thought this was wrong, so he arranged marriages in secret. When he was found out he was sent to prison where he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. He sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine” and was later killed on the 14th February. The day itself was thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia which signalled the start of springtime. As part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box and they’d be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival, sometimes even getting married. Later on, the festival was turned into a Christian celebration and St Valentine's name started to be used by people to express their feeling to those they loved.

Valentine’s day is a very good day for businesses. For Valentine’s Day 2020 it was predicted that over 32 million (61%) of Brits would spend money on their loved ones and a further 9.4 million would celebrate without spending anything. Of those spending money each person is expected to spend £35 on average, meaning over £1.45 billion would be spent collectively. 1 in 15 (6%) planned to spend over £100 but 1 in 5 (21%) wouldn’t be celebrating it at all. This could be for many reasons, but many believe that we should be showing our love to our loved ones all year round. We should be saying to the people closest to us “I love you” every day not just on one day out of all 365 or 366 days in a year.

Emma Knight