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:

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by Meagan Hamman
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Cape Town Events Calendar
July 2015
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Picture of Great White SharkGreat White Shark Diving and Breaching ...

To actually witness a shark breach is an extremely rare experience

Cafe Caprice 2-for-1 Burger Special Cape Town2-for-1 Burger Special at Café Caprice ...

Camps Bay’s darling dishes up a duo of patties for the price of one every ...

Reach for a dream slipper dayReach for your Slippers Campaign

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Cape Town Funny Festival LogoCape Town Funny Festival

Expect barrels of guffaws at the Mother City’s laugh-out-loud comedy fiesta

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

King Tut in GrandWest Casino King Tutankhamun Exhibition in Cape Town

Explore the golden treasures of ancient Egypt’s famed pharaoh when this expo ...

The Piano Bar Burger and Beer Special in Cape TownBurger and Beer Special at The Piano Bar

Visit this jazzy eatery and bar on any Tuesday for a burger and beer at just R65

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The Blend Egg and Bacon MuffinBreakfast Restaurant Special at The ...

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ratanga function venue 8Host a Corporate Function at Ratanga ...

Throw a classy soirée or a raucous party at the “Wildest Place in Africa”

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

Hang time gym 3Indoor rock climbing specials at ...

Make the most of what this sport centre has to offer with these sweet deals

Boy Girl Hair Salon SignHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair

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

Manicure at Yemaya Spa Sea PointFacial Spa Special at Yemaya Spa & Hair

Indulge in one of two rehydrating facials and get a FREE nail treatment

HipHopFest 4Cape Town Hip-Hop Festival Auditions

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HQ Date logoTuesday Romantic Date Night at HQ ...

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West Side Story 6West Side Story at the Artscape Opera ...

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Buy the perfect present to suit your loved one’s personality and tuck into ...

La Dante Italian Language CourseLearn Italian with Società Dante ...

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Indochine Winter TableThe Winter Table at Indochine at ...

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The Celebration 2Madame Zingara’s Celebration at the ...

The magical dinner cirque theatre will set up camp in Cape Town once again, ...

Leopards Leap Cooking ClassesCooking Classes at Leopard’s Leap ...

Unleash your inner Heston in the beauteous surrounds of this Stellenbosch ...

Nature's Best Photography Africa ExhibitionNature’s Best Photography Africa ...

Witness the evocative beauty of the African wilderness exquisitely photographed ...

WorldArt Gallery Street Level Exhibition Worldart Gallery: Lady Skollie ...

Ask for What You Want is a complex exploration of the nature of human sexual ...

Jim Jefferies 3Jim Jefferies Live at the GrandWest ...

Catch the controversial Aussie comedian in action as he humours the Mother City

Fairview Goatshed Food and Wine Themed EveningsFairview’s Goatshed Restaurant’s ...

Get your hands dirty and make your own pizza, or taste something new at these ...

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You’ll find cool gifts for guys and gals galore at this reservoir of ...

Om Revolution garden yogaPrivate Yoga Classes Special from The ...

Score FREE super cool and useful yoga accessories when you sign up for six ...

Swordfern Hair and Beauty Salon 5Half-Price Men’s Haircut at Swordfern ...

Every Tuesday this trendy wellness studio trims 50% off its ‘Be a ...

kloof street house burger special 22-for-1 Burger Lunch Special at Kloof ...

Make the most of your midday meal with this sweet bun and patty deal from the ...

Parakito Natural Repellant for Babies & Pregnant WomenPara’Kito Natural Mosquito Repellent ...

Get an exclusive readers’ discount on this cutting-edge European brand’s ...

the taproom in salt river cape town devil's peak brewing companyTaproom Tuesday Burger and Beer Special

Enjoy a cheeseburger and craft beer combo for just R50 while listening to live ...

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

A must-do with a view in dearest Cape Town

Truffle Halal Restaurant Steak Cape TownLunch and Dinner Special at Truffle ...

Treat yourself to a two-course meal for just R120 every Tuesday at one of Cape ...

Live Jazz Music at Asoka on TuesdayLive Jazz at Asoka Restaurant

Turn your Tuesday up a notch with this trendy hotspot’s vibey dinner and ...

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

Marcel's Frozen Yogurt Wrapped Bar Turkish Delight8 Unusual Things You Can Do With ...

FroYo your old ideas to the wind and check out our collection of off-centre ...

Chilli Poppers and tapas from Orinoco Bree StreetHalf-price Tapas Tuesdays at Orinoco ...

Tuck into twice the Latin American flavour for once the price at this vibrant ...

river club green 2Beer, Balls and Burger Special at The ...

Practise your swing and tuck into a delicious hamburger and lager combo every ...

Auslese Private Events and Function VenueAuslese Function Venue: Just What the ...

The exclusive food and wine pairing space that caters for parties, events and ...

Picture of Great White SharkGreat White Shark Diving and Breaching ...

To actually witness a shark breach is an extremely rare experience

Boot Camp SA Kids Camps in Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Boot Camp ...

Book a Colonel Birthday Party Package for your little one on a Wednesday and ...

Cape Town City Ballet 2Cape Town City Ballet’s ‘The ...

It’s a play without words but the dancing will move you

The Sunflower Fund GalaThe Sunflower Fund Gala Dinner in Cape ...

Become part of fostering a future filled with hope by joining the annual ...

Reach for a dream slipper dayReach for your Slippers Campaign

Help a child fight a grave illness by simply exchanging your slops and ...

Cape Town Funny Festival LogoCape Town Funny Festival

Expect barrels of guffaws at the Mother City’s laugh-out-loud comedy fiesta

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill ...

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R99 per kilogram on Wednesdays

AWOL Constantia Winelands TourConstantia Winelands Cycle Tour with ...

Explore the lush scenery of the Constantia Wine Valley from the seat of a ...

King Tut in GrandWest Casino King Tutankhamun Exhibition in Cape Town

Explore the golden treasures of ancient Egypt’s famed pharaoh when this expo ...

School of Rock music school in Cape TownMusic Lessons at School of Rock in Cape ...

Get your rock on with classes in guitar, vocals, drums and more at this ...

offline lifestyle limited edition beltsLeather Belt Special at Offline ...

Save up to R100 on genuine leather belts every Wednesday at this urban clothing ...

Archery Lessons at Thali Thali Game LodgeArchery Lessons at Thali Thali Game ...

Practise your bow and arrow skills under the guidance of one of the best ...

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialDinner Special at Sotano in Cape Town

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

Excentric Hair Salon Haircuts and StylesHaircut and Colour Special at Excentric ...

First-time customers save between R100 and R200 on all hair services at this ...

saxenburg2Wine Tasting Safari at Saxenburg Estate

Sip on statement vintages while watching wildlife roam at this age-old ...

Kurt Schoonraad's Cape Town Comedy ClubJoin the Cape Town Comedy Club ...

Laugh in the face of the five-day workweek at Cape Town’s only dedicated ...

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

Brighten the midweek with a superb Wednesday dental deal

Live Blues and music on Wednesday at the odysseyCrossroad Blues Live Music Night at The ...

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

Charcoal Dining Restaurant Functions and Events Cape TownCharcoal Dining: An Intimate Party and ...

Host memorable, meaningful functions at this warm CBD bistro

HintHunt Escape Game Logo 2Corporate Team Building with HintHunt

Get the staff bonding with this exhilarating group escape game

Trending Over Tea Vintage High TeaTrending Over Tea Winter Edition at Val ...

Spend a delightful morning at this vintage Victorian affair sipping tea and ...

HipHopFest 4Cape Town Hip-Hop Festival Auditions

Calling all hip-hop acts in the Mother City, this is your time to show off your ...

West Side Story 6West Side Story at the Artscape Opera ...

Travel to New York’s Upper West Side in the 1950s to witness the modern Romeo ...

Tidy & Co. Pop-Up Shop Long StreetTidy & Co. Pop-Up Gift Shop in Long ...

Buy the perfect present to suit your loved one’s personality and tuck into ...

La Dante Italian Language CourseLearn Italian with Società Dante ...

Amore Italiano? Learn to speak the beautiful language with this series of fun, ...

Indochine Winter TableThe Winter Table at Indochine at ...

Enjoy the delicate flavours of Asian cuisine at the chic, modern restaurant of ...

The Celebration 2Madame Zingara’s Celebration at the ...

The magical dinner cirque theatre will set up camp in Cape Town once again, ...

Leopards Leap Cooking ClassesCooking Classes at Leopard’s Leap ...

Unleash your inner Heston in the beauteous surrounds of this Stellenbosch ...

Nature's Best Photography Africa ExhibitionNature’s Best Photography Africa ...

Witness the evocative beauty of the African wilderness exquisitely photographed ...

WorldArt Gallery Street Level Exhibition Worldart Gallery: Lady Skollie ...

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moyo kirstenbosch 4Moyo Restaurant in Cape Town’s ...

Feast on African-inspired dishes with this stunning eatery’s Waya Waya ...

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Get your hands dirty and make your own pizza, or taste something new at these ...

Swordfern Hair and Beauty Salon 3FREE Haircut and Blow-Dry Special at ...

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

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Paragliding Cape TownCape Town Paragliding Special with Para ...

Take to the skies on any Wednesday with this reputable company and receive R100 ...

Burritos from Orinoco Mexican RestaurantQuesadilla & Burrito Wednesday Lunch ...

Enjoy a spicy midday meal at this colourful Latin American cantina for less ...

Cobble & Stone Pub at Inn on the SquareTake a Load Off at the Cobble & Stone ...

Fancy a pint or a bite? Stop over at this Greenmarket Square tavern for great ...

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

Jammin Reggae FestThe Jammin Reggae Fest at Hillcrest ...

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More Than Hype Tattoo Studios Cape Town All About the Ink: Cape Town’s Tattoo ...

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Shimmy Beach ClubFashion, Flavours and Art CANSA Benefit

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Naked Girls Reading in Cape Town 1Naked Girls Reading in Cape Town

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river club greensThe River Club in Cape Town

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One Night in Cape Town Concerts Oppikoppi: One Night in Cape Town ...

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URCard Prepaid Debit CardURCard: Your Handy Prepaid Debit Card ...

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