Valentine’s Day traditions that have been loved and celebrated for centuries

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays around, and it’s often filled with visions of hearts, flowers, the perfect date, and perhaps much more. What are some of the best Valentine’s Day traditions? Let’s take a look into this love-filled holiday and count the ways you can celebrate it.

Valentine’s Day cards

On Valentine’s Day, people exchange cards so frequently that the holiday holds the No. 2 spot for sending and exchanging cards (only behind Christmas). Valentine’s cards originally got their start in the United Kingdom but made their way to the United States in the mid-1800s when a Massachusetts-based printer named Esther Howard offered them for the first time. Hallmark got in on the act in the early 1900s, and the rest is history.

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Going on a date

Another Valentine’s Day tradition is going out on a date. This usually means a candlelight dinner in a romantic setting, and top-tier restaurants generally see a big uptick in reservations as Feb. 14 draws near. Sometimes these dates really up the romance factor if there is a proposal thrown in, but many different types of couples enjoy going out for an evening, whether they’re just casually dating, in a more serious relationship or already married.


Flowers are an extremely common item to gift on Valentine’s Day. An estimated $2 billion is spent on flowers every Feb. 14, and around 36 percent of those who celebrate plan to give flowers to loved ones.


Presenting your Valentine with a gift of jewelry is another hot Valentine’s Day tradition. People spend around $4.7 billion on jewelry every V-Day, which is great news for the jewelry industry (as well as those who receive jewelry as a gift).

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Valentine’s Day chocolate is another fun (and delicious) custom. Chocolate treats run the gamut from traditional boxed chocolates to elaborate and custom creations that are perfect for your very own Valentine.

Valentine’s Day decor

Sure, people don’t go all out decorating for Valentine’s Day like they do for other holidays like Christmas, but it’s likely you’ll see some decor in schools, offices and homes if you’re out and about in the early part of February. Hearts, Cupids and red roses are the main motifs, but often other decorations that use the colors of red, pink and white are put on display.

School parties

While Valentine’s Day may be thought of as a holiday that celebrates romantic love, school parties around the country prove that kids love to celebrate it, too. Valentine’s Day parties often include letter boxes kids create themselves, and they’ll spend time exchanging small Valentines and other small gifts or candy. These parties are often one of the highlights of the school year.