An Introduction to Valentines Day

February 14th across the world is known as Valentine’s Day. Across the world couples exchange gifts from flowers, to chocolate and cards.

St Valentines - The Patron Saint of Valentines Day

The Legend of St Valentine - Across different religious and traditions – particularly amongst Christianity and through Ancient Roman Traditions - there are different stories surrounding St Valentine and how he became the patron saint of Valentines Day.

St Valentine and the Catholic Church - Amongst Catholicism there are a few recognised martyred saints named Valentine or Valentinus. Some believe that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome and was put to death by Emperor Claudius II when he disobeyed Claudius’ wishes that young men remain unmarried. Emperor Claudius II believed that young men made better soldiers if they were single and as a result Valentine decided to secretly perform marriages. Upon discovering Valentine put love ahead of his orders, Claudius executed him and St Valentines Day was created. However, there is some debate over whether it was Valentine or Saint Valentine of Terni a bishop who too was executed by Emperor Claudius.

St Valentine and Ancient Rome - Another version of St Valentine people believe is that Valentine was imprisoned and fell in love with a girl who visited him during his time. When he knew he was going to be executed Valentine wrote a letter to the girl and signed it ‘From Your Valentine’. This phrase is still used today when people write Valentines Day Cards to their loved ones.

Valentine's Day Facts

  • Around 9 million people a year will treat their pets to gifts and cards on Valentine’s Day.
  • Aside from Christmas cards, Valentines Day cards equate for the biggest volume of cards sent a year.
  • Valentines day cards for teachers are the most sent, even more than valentines cards for girlfriends or valentines day cards for wives and even valentines day cards for mums.
  • The most popular valentines flower is roses. Valentines Red Roses are the most romantic flower popular not just for valentines day but also romantic gestures and to say sorry.
  • The first marketed valentines day was in 1840s where companies saw the value behind the holiday. Valentines Gifts were created such as Valentines day chocolate, valentines teddy bears and of course Valentines flowers. However, the most popular valentines gift is jewellery.
  • Valentines is the most popular day of the year to propose. Every year social media is flooded with Valentines day proposals videos.
  • One of the most popular valentines day date ideas is the cinema, romantic movies are released and many couples celebrate Valentines by going to the cinema and then for a meal.
  • Often valentines cards are signed by a secret admirer, this tradition started in the Victorian era when it was believed that signing your name to a valentines card was bad luck.
  • Red is known as the colour of Valentines Day because it represents the blood pumped by the heart.

Valentines Day Greetings

Valentines is celebrated all over the world, including United States, Great Britain and Mexico to name a few. To start with in the 18th century it was popular for people to send handwritten valentines cards but by the last 19th century printed valentines cards took over because of the ability to add photos and quick sending ability, personalised valentines cards remain a hit across the world.

William Shakespeare and Valentines Day

Whilst valentines was considered a romantic holiday prior to Shakespeare, William Shakespeare did help popularise the day and valentines poems throughout Europe. Shakespeare poetry quickly became associated with Valentines.

Valentines Day Music- Love Songs

Aside from valentines jewelry or valentines chocolate a mixed tape is a popular valentines day gift. The reason for this is there are lots of popular love songs which many use to say what they can’t put into words. Some of the most popular love songs that you would find on a Valentines Day playlist include:

  • I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance With Somebody both by Whitney Houston
  • Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  • I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men
  • We Found Love by Rihanna and Calvin Harris
  • How Deep is your Love by the Bee Gees
  • I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles
  • Bleeding Love by X Factor Winner Leona Lewis
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Freddie Mercury and his band Queen
  • Crazy in Love by Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z
  • I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  • Taylor Swifts song Love Story and its Romeo and Juliet inspired music video

Valentines Traditions Around the World


Valentines Day in Argentina is celebrated in July during a week called ‘The Week of Sweetness’ and not on February 14th. In July Argentinians exchange cards, gifts and romantic messages.


Bulgarians celebrate Valentine Day with wine.


In Romania Valentines Day is celebrated on the 24th February and is not only a celebration of love but also a celebration of the start of spring.

South Korea

South Koreans don’t just celebrate love on February 14th but on the 14th of every month and each has it’s own name; February 14th is Valentines Day, May’s is called Rose Day, June is Kiss Day, December is Hug Day and in April there is a day specifically for those that are single called Black Day where it is tradition to eat black noodles.


Paris the capital city of France is named the ‘City of Love’ and the French are notoriously romantic with a kiss even being named the French Kiss. Many French people celebrate Valentines with red roses, love notes and marriage proposals but the most specific to France celebration is the tradition to plant your own lovers tree.

South Africa

South Africans will pin red hearts with their valentines names written on their sleeve, giving a physical meaning to the saying wearing your heart on your sleeve.


In China Valentines Day is known as Qixi, a festival of love. Qixi is celebrated on the 7th of the 7th month and is derived from a traditional Chinese story of two lovers who were not allowed to be together because they were born into different classes. They were allowed to reunite on one day a year – the 7th of the 7th month.

Czech Republic

Whilst Valentines Day is celebrated in the Czech Republic, it was traditionally May 1st which was the day of love.


The Welsh celebrate Love on St Dwynwens Day which is January 25th and couples exchange beautiful wooden spoons.


June 12th is Brazils equivalent Valentines Day which is called Dia dos Namorados, the patron saint of marriage Saint Anthony’s Day is celebrated on June 13th.


In the Philippines Valentines Day is a day where many choose to get married, huge mass weddings where thousands of Valentines get married. Often the government will sponsor these weddings between younger couples as a form of public service.


Whilst globally chocolate is a popular valentines gift, Ghanaians take it one step further and February 14th is nationally known as Chocolate Day. The term was coined in 2007 as a way to increase tourism since Ghana is one of the largest cocoa producing country.


Rather than Valentines being just for lovers, Estonians celebrate all relationships and February 14th is actually known as Friendship Day.


Whilst traditionally women are spoiled by loved ones on Valentines Day, in Japan roles are reversed and men are spoilt. March 14th which is known as White Day is when Men can return the romantic gestures and gifts.

Radley Valentines Day Bags we Love

London Shopper- Large Zip Top Tote Bag

In need of a new large tote? Invest in this style for the season ahead. Featuring a sketch of Tower Bridge with a floating red heart for a chic touch and contrast shoulder straps. Stylish yet practical, it has plenty of room to fit in gym kit, work essentials, food shopping and more. This tote is set to become your new favourite accessory now and in seasons to come.

I Love You- Mini Flapover Cross Body Bag

Show them some love with this small flapover crossbody bag from our I Love You collection. We love the padded red heart with Radley foil lettering at the front flap that opens up to reveal multiple compartments to store notes and cards. It comes completed with a zip back coin compartment and Radley London branding.

I Love You- Large Zip Top Tote Bag

Show them some love with this I Love You large tote bag. Designed from leather it is finished off with two heart charms for an elevated look on a classic silhouette. Perfect for taking to and from work, its spacious interior will let you store your essentials away with ease.

I Love You- Small Zip Around Backpack

The luxury leather bag you’ll love to carry everywhere: our new I Love You backpack with contrasting Radley dog and heart charm. An effortless companion for every adventure, it’s the perfect blend of playful and practical. Keep everyday essentials in its roomy interior and store your precious belongings in the zip pocket. The front envelope pouch is great for items you need to hand - and opens to reveal a secret silver foil love note. The backpack’s gorgeous inky blue tone will complement your entire wardrobe too: style with everything from maxi dresses to raw denim.

Radley Valentines Day Purses we Love

I Love You- Small Zip Top Coin Purse

Mini in size, big in style this small purse has enough space for your loose coins and your cards. Crafted from leather, it has individual compartments for your cards and is finished off with Radley signature branding.

I Love You- Medium Bifold Purse

Show them some love with this medium purse. A guaranteed conversation starter, it features ‘I love you’ lettering multiple times to the back and a heart purse charm. This design opens up to reveal multiple slip compartments to keep cards, coins and notes organised without compromising on style.

I Love You- Large Flapover Matinee

Looking for the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day? Look no further. Show them some love with this large purse from our I love you collection. We love the padded heart with Radley lettering in gold foil at the front flap that opens up to reveal multiple compartments to store notes and cards. It comes completed with a zip back coin compartment and Radley London branding.