As per the words of Franklin P. Jones, “Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Indeed, love is an exquisite human emotion that encompasses everyone in its sheath. Leading a life devoid of love can be regarded as futile and useless. This love can be manifested in many forms - love for one’s family, for friends or romantic love. This one emotion transcends all kinds of barriers and obstacles, unifying the world as a single entity. Such an exquisite facet of human nature should be celebrated and rejoiced. It is for this sole purpose that the festival of Valentine’s Day is celebrated all around the world and the same holds true for United Kingdom as well. All over Britain, the event is celebrated with gaiety, pomp and glory. It is a popular belief that the festival of Valentine’s Day originated in Great Britain and France sometime during the 14th and 15th centuries. This was the time of the year, when members of the avian species mated in order to procreate and produce offspring. Today, Valentine’s Day is regarded as an important occasion in Britain, with many traditions associated with it. To know more, read on.
Valentine’s Day Celebrations in UK
A number of customs and rituals have come to be associated with Valentine’s Day in UK and the entire ambience during the event is a merry one. Some years back, young unmarried girls in the country used to wake up sometime before sunrise on Valentine’s Day. It was a popular belief that they would marry the first man they saw on the day or a person who resembled him. One can but imagine the excitement and thrill among the womenfolk during that time. They used to wake up early in the morning and wait near the window for the man to pass. Even in the popular play Hamlet (1603), Shakespeare made mention of this famous Valentine belief.
Another popular belief among the masses in Britain is that unmarried girls would dream of their future husbands on the night before Valentine’s Day, if they pin four bay leaves to the corners of their pillow and consume eggs with salt, removing the yolks. Some would even write down the name of their lover’s names on a piece of paper and put them in clay balls that they would drop in water. It was believed that the first name to come up would be that of their future husband. While majority of the traditions have now become folklore, a few continue to be practiced by the people.
Get-togethers and parties are very common on Valentine’s Day and one would often find the young and the unmarried having fun in the local pubs and discotheques. Those who prefer moments of privacy with their loved ones can often be found taking a romantic trip to some exotic locales within the country or going out for a romantic candlelight dinner. Although the customs for observing a festival varies from country to country, one aspect remains the same for all and that is the gifting of Valentine cards and other tokens of love. In United Kingdom also, lavish gifts are showered by people on their lovers. In this way, people all over this region celebrate and dwell in the true essence of Valentine’s Day.