Valentine’s Day South Africa

A celebration of love, lust and Lindt, or is it just another Hallmark holiday?


Each year on Valentine’s Day (14 February), hordes of star-crossed young’uns and wedded veterans celebrate their love by rushing off to the shops to buy the biggest bunches of flowers, the most delectable-looking boxes of chocolates and (on occasion) the slinkiest lingerie.

But what’s the reasoning behind all this madness? Does Valentine’s Day claim roots entrenched deep in some lost romantic tale or is the holiday simply the brainchild of one particularly ambitious greeting card company? 

History of Valentine’s Day

As it turns out, the historic origins of this pseudo-holiday remain largely mysterious, with attribution rather shakily granted to an ancient celebration and a Roman Catholic saint.

As the story goes, Valentine’s Day’s beginnings are believed to be linked to the pagan fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, an age-old tradition comprising of animal sacrifices and a sacrificial feast. The occasion, which took place on the ides of February (15 February), encouraged the devout to cut thongs from the skins of the animals and run through the town striking the people in the crowds. It is said that women and young girls lined up to accept their lashes, as they guaranteed fertility and eased child birth pains.

With the advent and subsequent growth of Christianity, public performances of pagan rites were outlawed, thus leading to the festival’s decline in popularity and, what many believe, was a Christian effort to undermine the annual highlight.

Enter the story of Saint Valentine. Aside from his name, the date of his execution (14 February) and the location of his execution(Via Flaminia - a popular road in ancient Rome), little else is known about this wonder except that he inspired one of the most popular holidays of present-day.

Some legends claim that Valentine became a martyr thanks to his defiance of the Emperor Claudius II’s decree that forbid young army-worthy men from marrying. Others claim that the saint was immortalized for his attempts to save young souls from the harsh Roman prisons; in fact, some sources claim that his love letter written to the jailer’s daughter – it was signed ‘From Your Valentine’ – is the most genuine point of the holiday’s origin.

Though, in all honesty, most people attribute Valentine Day’s existence to capitalism, chocolatiers and card companies (it is said that a whopping 150 million cards are exchanged over Valentine’s Day every year).

Valentine’s Day in Cape Town

All in all, whether you love or loathe it, suggestions concerning what to do and where to woo your amour on Valentine’s Day in Cape Town are always welcome. So, without further ado:

---
by Meagan Hamman
---
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates.

Tue
H:19°
L:
Wed
H:22°
L:11°
Thu
H:24°
L:12°
Fri
H:24°
L:13°
Sat
H:27°
L:13°
Sun
H:25°
L:15°
Mon
H:21°
L:13°
Cape Town Events Calendar
February 2013
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28

Short & SweetShort and Sweet Season Four

This unique WDC2014 cinema experience makes its fourth appearance

Cape Town Recovery Film Festival Cape Town Recovery Film Festival

Explore the deep issues of addiction, substance abuse and the path to renewal ...

artscape photo outside lightsArtscape Heritage Festival

Celebrate South Africa’s rich diversity and reflect on its chequered past ...

Barnyard Theatre (Willowbridge) Born to be wildBarnyard Theatre's Born To Be Wild ...

Rock the night away to six decades of anthems at this Durbanville dinner ...

2014 Fringe Festival at Cape Town City HallCape Town Fringe Festival

Get your dose of drama, dance, comedy and more at this inaugural arts fandango

Charcoal Dining RestaurantCharcoal Dining: An Intimate Party and ...

Host memorable, meaningful functions at this warm CBD bistro

Old V&A Waterfront Grain Silo for Zeitz MOCCAZanele Muholi & Friends Photography ...

Explore the concept of ‘looking back’ at the V&A Waterfront’s new ...

Rocky Horror Picture Show FugardRocky Horror Show at the Fugard Theatre

The timeless musical returns to Cape Town to give fans another round of racy ...

Cascades on The Promenade dinnerBistro lunch at Cascades on the ...

Discover the hidden gem that’s serving up some of the Atlantic Seaboard’s ...

Kids Bday Party at Two Oceans AquariumKids Parties at the Two Oceans Aquarium

Birthdays are better down where it’s wetter, take it from us!

RicksRick’s Café Americain’s Weekly ...

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that ...

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Design and Making: The Story of FoodDesign and Making Exhibition at the ...

Discover how the evolution of food sheds light on the history and ...

The Foreign Exchange Bar Quiz NightTrivia Night at The Foreign Exchange Bar

Test your general knowledge at this Observatory-based haunt’s Tuesday pub quiz

Yoga at the Cape Quarter SquareFree Yoga Classes at the Cape Quarter ...

Free your mind and flex your body at this stylish lifestyle centre’s mahala ...

Horseback safari at AquilaHorseback Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Ditch the regular, old game drive and saddle up for an up-close experience with ...

Maboneng Township Arts Langa TagThe Langa TAG Township Arts Gallery Tour

Take a gander at local creations along this Cape Town township’s first ...

Boy Girl Hair at Love Cape TownHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair

Marry a tip-top cut with any of this edgy salon’s other services and save 30%

Richard's Bistro supper and stage Kaapstad“Kaapse Stories” at Richard’s ...

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

Avontuur Wine EstateFood and Wine Pairing at Avontuur Estate

Learn how to please your palate at the Stellenbosch farm that’s home to fine ...

Conquest School of Driving Cape TownConquest’s Driving Lessons

Cruise through your K53 licence test with the help of one of Cape Town’s most ...

Eggs Benedict from Latitude 332-for-1 Eggs Benedict Breakfast Special ...

Buy one and get the other free at this Bree Street restaurant every Tuesday

SANParks Tankwa NP FlowersYour Guide to Viewing the Spring ...

Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with South Africa’s ...

whale wine and wors wine flies logoWine Flies’ Whale, Wine and Wors Tour ...

Hop on board a fun-filled minibus and explore the hidden gems of the Western ...

Hugo cocktail for happy hour at Rick'sHappy Hour Special at Rick’s Café ...

Sip discounted cocktails, tequila and more at the cosy bar off Kloof Street

High tea at the Twelve Apostles HotelHigh Tea by the Sea at The Twelve ...

A must-do with a view in dearest Cape Town

funcar vw beetleFun Car: Cheap Car Hire in Cape Town

Buzz through the Mother City in a budget Beetle, Citi Golf, Jeep Cherokee or ...

Cape Town Recovery Film Festival Cape Town Recovery Film Festival

Explore the deep issues of addiction, substance abuse and the path to renewal ...

Cape Quarter The SquareHappy Hour at the Cape Quarter Square

Weekday evenings are all about half-price cocktails and high spirits at this ...

Fruit Salad WrapWednesday Tortilla Wrap Special at ...

Recharge and refresh with a budget- and belly-friendly brekkie and lunch deal ...

Hout Bay Dental Studio Teeth Whitening EffectsTeeth Whitening Special at Hout Bay ...

Brighten the midweek with a superb Wednesday dental deal

Barnyard Theatre (Willowbridge) Born to be wildBarnyard Theatre's Born To Be Wild ...

Rock the night away to six decades of anthems at this Durbanville dinner ...

2014 Fringe Festival at Cape Town City HallCape Town Fringe Festival

Get your dose of drama, dance, comedy and more at this inaugural arts fandango

Old V&A Waterfront Grain Silo for Zeitz MOCCAZanele Muholi & Friends Photography ...

Explore the concept of ‘looking back’ at the V&A Waterfront’s new ...

Ways of wellnessWaxing Wednesdays at Ways of Wellness ...

His and her hair removal for less at Cape Town’s first all-natural beauty ...

Rocky Horror Picture Show FugardRocky Horror Show at the Fugard Theatre

The timeless musical returns to Cape Town to give fans another round of racy ...

Year End Party Two Oceans AquariumHost a Year End Function at the Two ...

Throw a party unlike any other at the Mother City’s underwater wonderland

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Design and Making: The Story of FoodDesign and Making Exhibition at the ...

Discover how the evolution of food sheds light on the history and ...

The Odyssey Live Music NightCrossroad Blues Live Music Night at The ...

Dine and drink while taking in top tunes at this trendy bar every Wednesday

Stardust VespasSix-for-Four Shooter Special at ...

Add some rocket fuel to this eatery’s theatrical dining experience to make ...

Beerhouse beer o clock logoBeer o’ Clock at Beerhouse

Say goodbye to happy hour and hello to an around-the-clock brewhaha

Maboneng Township Arts Langa TagThe Langa TAG Township Arts Gallery Tour

Take a gander at local creations along this Cape Town township’s first ...

Dornier Bodega Shellfish PlatterShellfish Special at Dornier Bodega ...

Make Wednesdays truly wonderful with a half-price shellfish deal at this ...

HintHunt Escape Game Logo 2Corporate Team Building with HintHunt

Get the staff bonding with this exhilarating group escape game

Peter's House Restaurant TamboerskloofPasta Special at Peter’s House

Say no to washing up on ‘HUmP Day’ and head to Cape Town’s cutest eatery ...

Dinner at Aubergine RestaurantLunch at Aubergine Restaurant

Daytime fine dining in the heart of Cape Town

Stand Up Paddle Boarding with High Five Cape TownStand Up Paddle Board Group Lesson ...

Learn to SUP for 25 - 50% less thanks to High Five

Lanique Bar Cocktails Cape TownWednesday Drinks Special at Lanique Bar

Make the mid-week majestic with a hot deal on historic ‘liqueur of the ...

Jabula Hair Cape TownJabula Hair Weave & Extension Special

Buy hair extensions a weave or a wig and get your do done for free

SANParks Tankwa NP FlowersYour Guide to Viewing the Spring ...

Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with South Africa’s ...

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialDinner Special at Sotano by Caveau

Tuck into two lamb burgers and fries for the price of one every Wednesday

Craft beer from The Taproom Salt RiverAfter-work Drinks at The Taproom

Give your nine-to-five the finger and wind down with a craft beer at this ...

Odriscolls Irish Pub's Burger SpecialO’Driscoll’s 2-for-1 Burger Special

Beef up your Wednesday with double the bun-and-patty action for just R68

Wednesday Dinner Special at Jackal & Hide RestaurantJackal & Hide’s Wednesday Restaurant ...

Get two mains for a mere R140 at Cape Town’s Kloof Street hotspot

Cape Jazz at the Crypt VenueWine Wednesdays at The Crypt Jazz ...

Celebrate ‘hump day’ with sultry tunes and smooth reds and whites

NAC Helicopter Cape Town Tours & FlightsNAC’s Romantic Helicopter Flip

This Cape Town company’s flock of lovebirds offers rides to make hearts soar

Happy Hour at Mojitos2-for-1 Burger Special at Cafe Mojito

Grab two mouth-watering burgers for less than R60 every Wednesday at Long ...

Thomas Mason suit jacket liningsMORE’s Handmade Shirt Special

Get a free customised shirt when purchasing a made-to-measure suit

Tranquillity Function Venue Two Oceans AquariumFunction Venues in Cape Town

A mix of Mother City spaces perfect for hosting private parties, social ...

The Elim Wine & Food Celebration near AgulhasElim Wine & Food Celebration

The Tiny Tim of South Africa’s wine regions goes big with an all-out ...

Spier Eight logoEight Restaurant Thrusts Its Doors Open ...

Spier Wine Farm’s farm-to-table eatery’s now serving supper three days a ...

eight picnic 4Sunday Picnics at Spier Wine Farm

Tuck into a delicious array of snacks and nibbles while taking in the bucolic ...

Cloud 9 vs Breakout u18s 1 Cloud 9 vs Break Out Under 18s Party at ...

Celebrate your end of term with thumping beats and an EDM line-up that’ll ...

Surfing lessons with VACorps summer student internshipVACorps: Internships in South Africa

Meet one of the people behind one of the coolest intern-travel programmes in ...

Summer of Champions Horse Race DurbanvilleSA Horse Racing at Kenilworth ...

Your complete guide to 2014-2015’s equestrian fixtures and events in the ...

Labels4Less Factory Shop Cape TownLabels4Less Factory Shop in Cape Town

Save 40% to 60% on real Diesel jeans, Superdry T-shirts, Replay swimwear and ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips