Celebrate love in a different way this Valentine’s Day
Celebrate friendship and fun
Valentine’s Day isn’t all about spoiling and appreciating one single person. In fact, in a number of countries, St Valentine’s Day is recogniszed as a day to appreciate your friends. Call it what you will – Galentine’s Day, Ystävänpäivä” (Friends Day), or Dia del Amor y la Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship) – there are a host of beautiful global traditions that use this day in February as the perfect opportunity to celebrate friendship, rather than a significant other. Be inspired by Finland, where people arrange social gatherings to bring their favorite people together. Invite your friends over for brunch or dinner, where you can share good food and spend time catching up, sharing good food and laughing. To spread the cost, why not ask everyone to bring a dish? If you’re worried about having somewhere to sit everyone, take a look at our fantastic range of dining sets that can sit from four to eight people.
Marking the day this way makes people of all ages feel included, as you can encourage children to take time to celebrate their special friendships. Closer to home, there are also some regional customs in England, including a character called Jack Valentine in Norfolk who knocks on the door on Valentine’s Eve (Feb 13th) and leaves sweets and token gifts for children on the doorstep. If you’re feeling cheeky and your recipient has a sense of humor, you can use it as an excuse for a harmless prank.
Don’t be like the South Koreans who mourn single life and drown their sorrows on Black Day if they don’t receive anything from an admirer on Feb 14th. Instead, prioritize yourself and take time to enjoy things you are usually too busy to do. This could mean a pamper day, yoga class, a trip to the movies or a museum, a wander round a market or even a day trip to the beach. Alternatively, curl up with a good book or podcast. It’s your day – you can do all or none of the above – the most important thing is taking time out to do what makes you happy and feel a bit special. Put yourself first for a change.
Get out in the garden
In Slovenia, St Valentine was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and also of beekeepers. Rather than a day of love and romance, February 14th is celebrated as the day that nature wakes up, flowers and plants start to grow and it is also when the first work in vineyards commences. Sounds like the perfect excuse to up tools and head outside to the garden for a boost of serotonin that only digging around in the soil can bring.
Ok, it’s still only February, so pretty early on in the gardening season, but you can still plant some bulbs for a burst of color in late spring/early summer, or you can even plant out carrots, parsnips and early beetroot under cloches. Ultimately, it’s a great way to spend your day and will also give you a head start on getting your garden looking its best this spring.
Do something together
If there is someone special you want to celebrate with, remember that showing you care doesn’t have to mean armfuls of over-priced roses, inflated set menus at picture-perfect restaurants or extravagant gifts. You can still deliver on the romance front by just spending quality time together doing something you both enjoy or, better yet, trying something new.