When is Valentine’s Day?
The history & origin of this celebration.


What date is
Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th of February each year. It’s a day lovingly celebrated around the world, often with gifts of flowers or chocolates; something Thorntons are very happy to be experts in.

image showing valentines chocolate

What is the real meaning of Valentine’s Day?

We know Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romance and delicious chocolates, but the origins of it are much less loving. It is widely believed that the name comes from a Roman priest in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius had banned marriage as he believed single men to be better soldiers; however Valentine thought this unfair and arranged marriages in secret!

In this popular story, Valentine was sentenced to death for his crimes and is said to have fallen in love with the daughter of the jailer, signing a letter “from your Valentine” before his death.

image of Thorntons Alphabet Truffles with personalised message

Is it Happy Valentines or Valentine’s?

Both the V and D are capitalised in ‘Valentine’s Day’ and as the day is named after Saint Valentine, and therefore ‘belongs’ to him, we include an apostrophe to show this too.

image showing a pernosliased small heart plaque

Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th?

The origins of Valentine’s Day aren’t crystal clear, but we do know the ancient Romans celebrated a spring festival on the 15th February and the Christian calendar moved the holiday to the 14th to cherish Saint Valentine at the same time. The love story is believed to have followed in the Middle Ages where people would recite romantic poems in honour of the day.

Valentine’s Day is an incredibly old tradition dating back to 496 AD. While it initially celebrated the start of spring, the first handmade greetings cards appeared in the 16th Century. Hearts, flowers and Thorntons chocolates followed in the 20th Century as people reflected on the meaning of love. How romantic.

image showing a pernosliased large heart plaque
Find your nearest store