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Valentine's Day in Canada

Quick Facts

On Valentine's Day, people pronounce or re-affirm their feelings of romantic love for someone, often by sending cards or giving gifts.

Local names

NameLanguage
Valentine's DayEnglish
Le jour de la Saint-ValentinFrench
ValentinstagGerman

Valentine's Day 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015
List of dates for other years

Valentine's Day is an opportunity for people in Canada to tell somebody that they love them in a romantic way. It falls on February 14, the name day of two saints, St Valentine of Rome and St Valentine of Terni. In pre-Christian times, the middle of February was a time of pagan fertility festivals in Europe and allegedly the time when birds chose a mate.

Valentine's Day

Romantic dinners are a popular way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

©iStockphoto.com/g_studio

What do people do?

Many people send letters, cards, presents and gifts to the person with whom they have or want to have a romantic relationship. Valentine's Day cards are often red or pink and decorated with images of hearts, red roses, teddy bears, presents or happy couples kissing or embracing. They may be in brightly colored, perhaps pink or red, envelopes.

Many people give gifts to loved ones on Valentine's Day. Common gifts are:

Some people celebrate Valentine's Day lavishly. They may treat their partner to a themed meal in a restaurant or a night in a luxury hotel. Others may take short breaks or vacations on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day can also be an occasion for a more general celebration of love and appreciation of people who are personally important to an individual. School children may help decorate their classrooms with hearts and spring birds and make cards or presents for their parents. Stores may also sell Valentine's Day themed cakes, cookies or candy. Teenagers and young adults may hold Valentine's Day parties or dances on or near February 14.

Public life

Valentine's Day is not a public holiday. Schools, businesses, organizations, post offices and stores are open as usual. Public transport services run to their usual timetables. Restaurants and hotels may be busy as many people take out their partner for a romantic meal or night away in a hotel.

Background

The origins of Valentine's Day are not clear. It is thought that there were a number of local fertility festivals in Europe in pre-Christian times. These were often in the middle of February. Many people also thought that birds chose their mates at this time of year. Around the year 1380, the English poet Chaucer wrote a poem for the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. This is thought to be the first association between celebrations of romantic love and St Valentine's Day on February 14. The connection remained important throughout the middle ages.

In the mid-19th century, there was an increase in interest in Valentine's Day, first in the United States, then in Canada. It was promoted by manufacturers of paper lace and cards as a means of increasing their sales. Gradually, this date was seen as an occasion for a man to present gifts to a woman with whom he had or would like to have had a romantic relationship.  It was also customary for lovers to exchange handwritten notes. These have now largely been replaced by commercially produced cards.

Symbols

The most common symbols of Valentine's Day are heart shapes, which are used to decorate many things, including cards, trees, wrapping paper, cookies and gift boxes. Other symbols associated with February 14 are pairs of birds, cute teddy bears, Cupid and his arrows and couples kissing or embracing. The colors red and pink are often associated with Valentine's Day.

About Valentine's Day in other countries

Read more about Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedFeb 141990Valentine's DayObservance 
ThuFeb 141991Valentine's DayObservance 
FriFeb 141992Valentine's DayObservance 
SunFeb 141993Valentine's DayObservance 
MonFeb 141994Valentine's DayObservance 
TueFeb 141995Valentine's DayObservance 
WedFeb 141996Valentine's DayObservance 
FriFeb 141997Valentine's DayObservance 
SatFeb 141998Valentine's DayObservance 
SunFeb 141999Valentine's DayObservance 
MonFeb 142000Valentine's DayObservance 
WedFeb 142001Valentine's DayObservance 
ThuFeb 142002Valentine's DayObservance 
FriFeb 142003Valentine's DayObservance 
SatFeb 142004Valentine's DayObservance 
MonFeb 142005Valentine's DayObservance 
TueFeb 142006Valentine's DayObservance 
WedFeb 142007Valentine's DayObservance 
ThuFeb 142008Valentine's DayObservance 
SatFeb 142009Valentine's DayObservance 
SunFeb 142010Valentine's DayObservance 
MonFeb 142011Valentine's DayObservance 
TueFeb 142012Valentine's DayObservance 
ThuFeb 142013Valentine's DayObservance 
FriFeb 142014Valentine's DayObservance 
SatFeb 142015Valentine's DayObservance 
SunFeb 142016Valentine's DayObservance 
TueFeb 142017Valentine's DayObservance 
WedFeb 142018Valentine's DayObservance 
ThuFeb 142019Valentine's DayObservance 
FriFeb 142020Valentine's DayObservance 

Other holidays in February 2014 in Canada

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