From fine dining and extravagant proposals to an evening of self-love, the 14th of February is a day consumed by love, commitment and friendship.
What started as a feast day of St. Valentine has quickly become a time in which people express their admiration for those around them, whether that be their partner, best friend or parents. When considering Valentine’s Day and all the significance it holds, we often think of motifs such as hearts and roses, whilst all the local stores are stocked with teddy bears and chocolate delights. But Valentine’s Day has taken a major sentimental journey through time, accompanied by a list of myths, symbolisms and meanings, creating a momentous day for all.
The history of Valentine’s Day
Like many moments in history, Valentine’s Day is interpreted differently by different cultures, countries and religions, and although its modern meaning is recognised across the world, its history is diverse.
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated to celebrate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial, others claim that the Christian church decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an attempt to overpower the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.
During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in areas such as France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, adding to the idea that it should be a reflection of romance. Similarly, the Middle Ages was the time in which Valentine’s greetings became popular among the people, with the oldest known Valentine message being written in 1415 by Charlies, Duke of Orleans for his captured wife. Several years later, it is also believed that King Henry V employed a writer to compose a Valentine’s note to Catherine of Valois. From here, receiving gifts, cards and romantic gestures has become one of the key moments of the day.
The Symbols of Valentine’s Day
Whilst some dread the day and the thought of being without a partner, others use this to express their appreciation in the form of gifts and gestures. From dazzling jewellery to a hand-drawn art piece, Valentine’s Day comes with a wide selection of motifs and symbols, all of which possess their own individual meanings and importance.
A universally recognised icon of love, the heart is one of the most used symbols throughout Valentine’s and the month of February. Known as the place of human passions, hearts can be found on gifts, jewellery, cards and decorations as a classic sign of love.
A famous theory of the heart shape includes an Ancient Roman plant used for medicinal properties such as fertility.
Cupid, the Roman god of Love has been used as a symbol of love throughout time, originating from Greek mythology, these figures are found through museums, art, gifts and architecture across the world.
Accompanying this image is the tale of Cupid, who supposedly shoots his arrow at an intended couple, leading them to a lifelong relationship and a sense of desire.
Resembling both love and peace, Doves have been used as a Valentine’s Day motif for centuries. Naturally, the dove will only mate with one partner in a season, reflecting the idea of soul mates and lifelong partners.
Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love in Greek and Roman mythology, were also portrayed in the company of doves.
Traditionally, red signifies a sense of passion and desire, represented perfectly through the gift of a red rose. other colours of the flower also connotate friendship, innocence and loyalty.
The red rose can be traced back to the goddess of love, found to grow from the ground sprinkled with Aphodite’s tears and merged with the blood of her lover.
A modern take on love
Although filled with commercialism and many marketing schemes, Valentine’s Day still holds great meaning in terms of commitment and admiration. From sending love notes as children to presenting your lover with an engagement ring, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your appreciation for those around you. Whilst some may sit out on this day with the view of it being meaningless, others embrace it and may even organise events with friends and family.
Today, Valentines Day is celebrated by both singletons and relationships, with terms such as ‘ galentines ‘ being used as a way to appreciate others, even if they’re not your partner. Many friendship groups or siblings will organise meals, cosy nights or even exchange gifts in a way to involve those who might feel lonely around this time.
Gifts to buy this Valentine’s Day
With the classic symbolisms and gestures remaining the same for centuries, gifting on Valentine’s Day is quite an easy ordeal.
Although many will go the extra mile and treat their loved ones to something special, there are plenty of sentimental gifts to buy this Valentine’s Day.
- Flowers: A classic symbol of love. Flowers are simple yet meaningful with many people opting for a classic rose to reflect romance and desire. You can also buy gorgeous bouquets or opt for their favourite flowers such as tulips.
- Jewellery: Precious metals to last a lifetime. Buying your loved one high or fine jewellery is the perfect way to give them a precious gift that they can keep for years to come, especially if they’re personalised or engraved.
Shop our selection of high jewellery and fine jewellery or go straight to our Valentines Day gift guide.
- Eternity rings: As a way to signify everlasting love, eternity rings can ignite that spark. Find out more about eternity rings through our guide or discover our selection of luxury rings.
- Chocolates: a simple gesture for all to enjoy. Treating your loved one to their favourite chocolates can be a kind and simple gift, with many businesses and stores creating special editions and adorned packaging to suit the occasion.
- Dates and memories: Gifts don’t always have to be in the form of physical objects. Organising dates and activities to do together can create fond memories and ignite sparks which could have faded over time.
- Personalised gifts: From personalised jewellery to simple greeting cards, a personalised gift is the perfect way to add a thoughtful touch to what might be a simple gesture.
Shop our selection of luxury jewellery and find something spectacular this Valentines.