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The Symbolism Behind Valentines Day Traditions

The Symbolism Behind Valentines Day Traditions

On the 14th of February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day a holiday dedicated to love, for couples to honor and consecrate the feelings they have in their relationship. Looking for romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day becomes the main concern for both men and women.

Before jumping into the search for the perfect gifts, like bracelets for Valentine’s day, best flowers, candies and the like we’ve put down a short history of the symbolism behind these traditions. This will give you more insight into what your actions and presents actually stand for, giving more in-depth feeling to this celebration.

Legend of Saint Valentine

Couple smiling at camera holding a heart against digitally generated girly floral design


Legend has it that Saint Valentine of Rome performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and minister for Christians, who were then persecuted in the Roman Empire.

During his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his keeper of the jail and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed: Your Valentine. Nowadays people ask each other the question: “Will you be my Valentine?” – a reference to the one whom by love and devotion heals the heart.

On a more profound psychological interpretation would be that he awakened the girl to her soul’s journey through the emotion of love, which healed her blindness (the inability to feel love).




According to the legend, a maiden by the name of Rodanthe was persuaded by a lot of impassioned suitors. In the pursuit to capture her, they broke the doors to her house down in desperation and Goddess Diana got very angry. As a punishment Goddess Diana turned Rodanthe into a rose flower and her suitors into thorns.

The name of this flower is also full of symbolism. By rearranging the letters it spells Eros, the God of Love.

Red roses are symbols of love & passion, which were the favorite flowers of Goddess Venus.

On this day women receive rose bouquets from men as a meaning of courtship and appreciation of love.



The heart is the symbol for love and giving someone your heart means handing one’s existence to someone. A heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow means becoming vulnerable to hurt and being rejected. The arrow and the pierced heart means death and vulnerability of love. Some believe that a united heart and arrow could stand for uniting of the masculine and feminine.

During the 12 Century, people were not aware that the heart’s role was to pump blood through the system. They knew it beat faster when upset or happy. Later on, they discovered that it was the seat of emotions and feelings.

On this day people buy gifts for their loved one in shape of a heart, from chocolates, Valentine’s day bracelets, cards with love notes, plush animals holding hearts, etc.



The symbol of Cupid traces its origins back to the Roman mythology where he has been described as the son of Venus, the Goddess of Love. It is said that he was often sent by her to hit people with his invisible arrow making the one hit by it fall in love with the first person that he/she encountered.  His arrow is said to be invisible so that the victims would not know they were hit until they fell in love.

Cupid is now depicted on love cards, on jewelry, on toys, etc.

Lovebirds and Doves


The origin of this symbols goes back to the olden belief that birds found their mate on the 14th of February.

Lovebirds is said they got their names from the custom of sitting close to each other like the people who are in love and people say that these little blue colored birds can’t think of their lives without their mates by their side.

What makes doves a great symbol for Valentine’s Day is the extreme loyalty they have towards their mates. Unlike other animals that change their partners regularly, these little fellows remain faithful to the same mate for the rest of their lives, conjuring up the meaning of faithfulness and unity for couples in love.

Love knots


Love knots represent the love that will last forever, being a combination of winding and intertwining loops that have neither a beginning nor an end.

It is said that it originated in early Arab traditions where Muslim women in extra orthodox households would send love messages to the men they loved by knotting carpet threads. Lovers would read the messages by turning the knots around and around.

The sacredness of each holiday lies in the symbolism of each tradition, bringing the people more in tune with the inner world of their emotions.

Since this is not the only thing we’d like you to remain with after reading this article, we’ve also prepared a coupon code for a one-month free Mini-Subscription, giving you unlimited access to streaming images and 10 high-resolution photographs/illustrations that you can use in your Valentine’s cards, prints, or any creative ideas for Valentine’s day you may have. You can activate the subscription with this code: VALENTINESDAY

Happy Valentines Day and thanks for tuning in!


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