14th February. Valentine’s Day.
It’s the day of the year where florists are busy arranging bouquets of red roses, boxes of heart-shaped chocolates are snatched off the shelves and reservations are made at fancy restaurants. Bouquet delivery Singapore are all planned. It may come across as a cliché date to some, but to many couples worldwide, Valentine’s Day is the day to make your partner feel special and wanted.
Synonymous with the word “love”, Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration where lovers express their love for each other by exchanging gifts, sending flower bouquets and greeting cards. While we surely know of the occasion, do we know the history and significance of the occasion? Read on to find out.
How did Valentine’s Day come about?
The name of the festival, “Valentine’s Day” comes from Saint Valentine. So who exactly was Saint Valentine?
Though there are a few versions of who Saint Valentine was, the most famous belief was that he was a Roman priest in the third century AD. Back then, Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages because he thought that married men made bad soldiers. However, Valentine felt that this was unfair so he broke the rules and arranged marries in secret.
When Claudius found out about this, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. It was there that he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was about to be taken to be executed on 14th February, he sent her a love letter signed, “From your Valentine”.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day comes from an old tradition which is thought to have originated from a Roman festival. Called Lupercalia, it was celebrated in the middle of February – the start of their springtime. As part of celebrations, boys drew names of girls form a box and they would then be a couple during the festival. Sometimes, they would get married.
The connection between Saint Valentine and romantic love was sealed in 1381 by author, Geoffrey Chaucer who penned “The Parliament of Fowls”, a poem which is the form of a dream vision, containing one of the earliest references to the idea that Valentine’s Day is a special day for lovers.
How is Valentine’s Day celebrated across the world?
In most countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Valentine’s day is celebrated by exchanging gifts and declaring one’s never-ending love for the other. However, some countries celebrate Valentine’s Day differently – on different days and in other forms.
Japan: White Day
Celebrated on 14 March, White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. While women gift chocolate gifts/gifts to men on Valentine’s Day, the men are supposed to reciprocate on White Day by gifting them back items. This comes across as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation.
In recent times, many other Asian countries such as South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are adopting this practice, making Valentine’s Day more of a reciprocal occasion.
China: Chinese Valentine’s Day
Celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar calendar, the “Chinese Valentine’s Day” honours a folktale about a romantic legend of two lovers (the weaver girl and the cowherd) who have been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han dynasty.
According to the legend, their love was not allowed and they were banished to the opposite sides of the Silver River (the Milky Way) and only once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, would a flock of magpies form a bridge to reunite the two lovers. Chinese would gaze at the sky in the hopes of seeing this sight.
Ireland: Saint Valentine’s Day
On this day, many individuals who seek true love make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, which is said to house relics of Saint Valentine in Rome. They pray at the shrine in the hopes of finding true love.
Finland and Estonia: ystävänpäivä
Known as “Friend’s Day”, the day is more about remembering friends and not significant others.
Latin American countries: Día de los Enamorados (day of lovers)/ Día del Amor y la Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship).
On this day, it is common for others to show that they appreciate their friends. Some countries such as the Dominican Republic and El Salvador have a tradition of having a “secret friend” which is similar to having a secret santa.
In Brazil, the Dias dos Namorados, is celebrated on 12 June because that is the day before Saint Anthony’s Day (The marriage Saint). This is when many single ladies perform popular rituals to find a good husband or boyfriend. Couples also exchange chocolates, cards and valentine’s day flowers .
Do Singaporeans celebrate Valentine’s Day?
The answer is yes, of course!
Singaporeans follow the Western tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day by showering his or her significant other with gifts. In the earlier days in Singapore, it was a norm for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a nice bouquet of flowers, a gift/handmade card and a movie at the cinema.
And this hasn’t changed. Singaporeans still celebrate Valentine’s Day in various ways. There is no hard and fast rule on how to celebrate this occasion as it depends on what your loved one prefers. There are tons of online guides for the clueless boyfriend or girlfriend on how to spend the day meaningfully online. From tips on how to impress your date on Valentine’s Day to where to bring them to celebrate the occasion on a budget, the number of guides are endless. From bringing your partner to a staycation to opting for a non-boring date, it truly depends on your partner’s preference.
Although many guides serve as references for couples in love, ultimately, at the end of the day, nobody would know your partner better than yourself. Plan the perfect date with his/her preferences in mind and most importantly, be genuine. Instead of whipping your phone out for the perfect selfie or to capture pictures of the gift you got your partner to post on Instagram, why not enjoy the moment by gazing into each other’s eyes and truly appreciating the time spent with each other. But then again, if posting on social media or taking photographs to remember the occasion is something both you and your partner enjoy doing together, then why not.
Are flowers still a thing during Valentine’s Day?
The minute someone thinks of Valentine’s Day, an image of a bouquet of red roses or roses delivery singapore is bound to pop up in the person’s mind. This is because flowers, which symbolise actions of thoughtfulness and affection, help convey one’s affection and love towards another effectively.
Sometimes, there’s nothing more romantic than having your partner send you a bouquet of red roses to your doorstep with a sweet note attached to it. For others, it’s the thrill of receiving a flower bouquet in your office or from a secret admirer in school on the special occasion as it undoubtedly makes the recipient feel special.
Guys, did you know however that sending different numbers of roses convey different meanings? It might see that the idea of sending red roses is clear cut in itself but actually, there’s different meanings to it.
12-stalk rose bouquets You might want to express your interest in her
24-stalk rose bouquet To tell her that you’re her Valentine
99-stalk rose bouquet Forever in love with her
Millennials (the group below 35 years old) often fall into the common dating age range. Valentine’s Day, though generally celebrated by anyone in love or a relationship, is most often celebrated by those in the dating stage.
Couples who are in the dating phase are often the ones making grand plans to celebrate the occasion and purchase gifts to impress their partner. Married couples do too, just perhaps that they feel less of the need to constantly impress their partner as they have moved past the courtship stage.
With reference to another article about how millennials view flower bouquets, the results of close to 50 surveyed millennials were interesting.
Roses – 13 votes
Sunflowers – 6 votes
Baby breath – 6 votes
Peonies – 5 votes
Hydrangeas – 5 votes
Lilies – 4 votes
Wildflowers – 3 votes
Dried flowers – 2 votes
Gerbera – 1 vote
87.5% of the interviewees also chose modern bouquet arrangements over traditionally arranged bouquets. The rustic style was also the most popular choice when it comes to choosing the type of arrangement.
So if you’re a millennial and you’re wondering what flower bouquet would be best to send your partner on Valentine’s Day, why not go for either the most classic choice – red roses arranged with a modern twist? Else why not go for rustic-style bouquet arrangements with wildflowers and baby breath all around. Either way, the most important consideration when it comes to choosing a bouquet would definitely be getting the type of flowers she prefers and also, attaching a heartfelt note to the bouquet (all the better if it’s a handwritten note as it shows your sincerity). See also 5 top bouquets Singaporean ladies love
If you’re looking for inspiration on what to pen on the cards, here’s a few suggestions from Hallmark to get you started:
– “Thank you for being the loyal and caring friend you are. Love you!”
– “Here’s to a Valentine’s Day filled with good wine, good food and especially good friends like you!”
– “Happy Valentine’s to one of my favourite people. Ever”
– “I hope you feel loved and appreciated on Valentine’s Day because you are”.
– “Hope your day is filled with reminders of how much you’re loved”
– “Thanks for all you do that makes my life happier”
– “I hope you’re feeling really loved today. You are!”
– “You take my breath away. Always.”
– “My heart is all yours.”
– “Especially today, I hope you feel how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you in my life.”
The most important tip: Write from your heart.
At the end of the day…it’s not so much about what lavish gifts you purchase for your partner, or the size of the flower bouquet you send. It’s the thought behind the bouquets and gifts that matter the most. It’s the sincerity that can be seen from the action of spending time to carefully select the most apt gifts for your partner. It’s about spending time together as a couple and seeing the joy in your partner’s eyes as you crack a joke together and enjoy each other’s company.
The origins of Valentine’s Day may not have been the most romantic but as the years go by, be it commercialism or not, it is safe to say that many associate this day with love. With statues of cupids, huge red heart balloons, the numerous bouquet delivery and romantic gifts being exchanged on that day, even sceptics who don’t believe in the concept of love would question their beliefs again.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea to go all out and celebrate this occasion in a public manner. Be it grand public declarations of love or simple heartfelt gestures between you and your partner, the most important part of Valentine’s Day is making your loved one feel special. And while there is no one way to do that, sending a bouquet of lovely flowers doesn’t hurt. As the quote by Charles M. Schulz goes, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”. That applies to flowers too – especially when it’s her favourite flowers with a card which showcases your sincerity.
For those who are single, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a day where you stay home to Netflix and wallow in self-pity. Celebrate the love around you by showing your family and friends you appreciate them. Families provide unconditional love, no matter what the situation or no matter how far you’ve drifted, the love in a family is something constant. Friendships too, are beautiful connections that should be treasured. A good friend is one that would never turn his or her back on the other, no matter the situation. True friends go through thick and thin together, and that alone is reason enough to show your friends you appreciate them.
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return” – Moulin Rouge (2001). – Love is not measured by the value of the gifts you purchase. It’s about showing someone you care about them.