Valentine’s Day

Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.
(Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In France Valentine’s Day is known simply as “Saint Valentin”, and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries. According to a recent poll, 71% of French people celebrate Valentine’s Day by making gifts such as flowers, jewellery or going out for a romantic dinner.

Many people link Valentine’s Day with France. In both England and France, birds and other animals paired off and mated ‘in the middle of February’. It is thought that people began celebrating this as the special day for lovers because of this association with ‘love’ in nature.

In France Valentines cards are called cartes d’amities. The very first Valentines greeting was supposed to have been sent by the Duke of Orleans who was held prisoner in the Tower of London after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. During his imprisonment the young duke is said to have sent poems & love letters to his wife in France.

In the department of Indre (Central France), there is a village called St-Valentin. These days the village holds many events and ceremonies dedicated to Valentines day including marriage vow renewals.