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
January 2017
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Usher in the weekend with tasty nosh and dazzling concoctions at this new ...

Bye Cycle Peddling the Promenade Cycle Tour in Cape TownPeddling the Sea Point Promenade Tour ...

CapeTownMag readers get a special discount on Fridays when booking a trip on an ...

Wolfkop Weekender Lilo River FlowWolfkop Weekender: Lilo River Flow

Grab your lilo and float away with the sweet summer festival vibes

Terracotta Army Exhibition Cape TownThe Terracotta Army and the First ...

Step back in time and discover one of the world’s greatest treasures at this ...

Camissa Township Tours Formal HousesCamissa Township Tour and Robben Island ...

Embark on a cultural journey and experience the Mother City’s townships with ...

Spur Winter Trail Run SeriesThe 2017 Spur Summer Trail Series®

Run wild and free this summer with this top-notch trail series

Slave descendantsMy Naam is Februarie - Identities ...

View a historically significant calendar and listen to audiobooks in ...

MonarkLive Summer Concerts at Vergenoegd Wine ...

Rock on dude!

MaynardvilleShakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and confusion, Twelfth ...

Rush glow in the dark dodge ballCosmic Rush at Rush Indoor Trampoline ...

Teens get your blood pumping inside with a glow-in-the-dark indoor trampoline ...

I Love Big Bay Spring MarketI Love Big Bay Market

Put a spring in your step at this fabulous evening market

Find your spot#FindYourSpot with Place in the Sun ...

Col'Cacchio invites you all to come and try their custom designed pizzas and ...

Galileo Open Air Cinema Cape TownThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

Grab some snacks and get ready to watch your favourite films beneath the stars ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield ...

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

Michael J - 3The Michael Jackson HIStory Show

The King of Pop lives on

Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa ReceptionSpa and Sparkling Wine Special at Luxe ...

Receive a FREE glass of bubbly with your beauty treatment every Friday at Cloud ...

Summertide Art Exhibition 2016Summertide Art Exhibition

Add a pop of culture into your summer with this exquisite exhibition

Cafe Caprice Camps Bay Cocktails and SundownersJuniper Sunset Sessions with Tanqueray ...

Curate your own G&T concoctions every Friday at Café Caprice

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointPizza & Cocktails at Strolla Restaurant ...

Usher in the weekend with tasty nosh and dazzling concoctions at this new ...

Bye Cycle Peddling the Promenade Cycle Tour in Cape TownPeddling the Sea Point Promenade Tour ...

CapeTownMag readers get a special discount on Fridays when booking a trip on an ...

Our Last Night - 2Rocking for Rhinos with Our Last Night

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Full Moon Med - 2Full Moon Beach Meditation

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Valentine's Venom - 1Valentine’s Venom by Valley of Psy

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Clubbers Campout - 1Clubbers Campout #BeachEdition Music ...

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Rust en Vrede - 1Rust en Vrede Food and Wine Dinner

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