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
June 2017
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GONOW Bike Double 07Get a huge discount on GONOW electric bicycle rentals every Thursday!

Be blown away by the sunset over the Atlantic Seaboard from an electric two-wheeler at half the price!

AquilaOvernight Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Enjoy the outdoors with this Aquila Game Reserve special offer

parkhouseWinter Savings at The Parkhouse Hotel

Enjoy the best winter comforts at the fraction of the cost

Forex Foreign Exchange Beer Pong ObservatoryBeer Pong Night at The Forex Bar

Give this fun-filled drinking game a go every Thursday night in Observatory

hint-hunt-murder-mystery-1Corporate Team Building with HintHunt

Get the staff bonding with this exhilarating live group escape game in Cape Town

ByblosA sweet deal on Turkish appetizers every Thursday at Byblos

Get a three-for-two deal on any authentic Turkish appetizers every Thursday!

De Grendel Wine Farm WineWine Tasting at De Grendel in Durbanville

Enjoy a serene sampling experience in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs

Hout Bay Dental Studio 2016 1Teeth Whitening Special at Hout Bay Dental Studio

Brighten the midweek with a superb Thursday dental deal

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell Theatre“Kaapse Stories” at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special opening price!

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf adventure

Orphanage-cocktail-emporium-winesCocktails and Dancing at Orphanage Cocktail Emporium

Make Thursdays memorable with deep house and drinks at Cape Town’s favourite speakeasy

Avontuur Wine and Macaron PairingSpecialist Tastings at Avontuur Wine Estate

Spice up your winery experience with one of these delectable monthly pairings

AWOL-City-cycle-tour-6.jpgCape Town City Cycle Tour with AWOL Tours

Discover the rich history of Cape Town’s CBD in an active, engaging way with this exciting bicycle excursion

Manga Logo2-for-1 Stir-fry Special at Manga Restaurant

Buy one portion of noodles and get another free at this seaside spot on Thursdays

Hout Bay Dental Studio 2016 3Professional Teeth Cleaning Special at Hout Bay Dental Studio

Spruce up your pearly whites with this 20% discount for CapeTownMagazine.com readers

Vista Parties Ocean Adventurer 3Vista Parties Ocean Adventurer Birthday Party Package

Celebrate your child’s special day out to sea with this Atlantic Seaboard sailing bash

kids birthday party venue idea at waterworld strandWaterworld Strand Water Park’s Free Putt-Putt Special

False Bay’s finest family fun zone is offering a complimentary game of mini golf to birthday party bookings

Wine and cheese platter from Peter FalkeSundowners at Peter Falke Wine Farm in Stellenbosch

Toast dusk with fine wine, gorgeous cheese platters and tasty salads

GONOW Bike Double 07Get a huge discount on GONOW electric bicycle rentals every Thursday!

Be blown away by the sunset over the Atlantic Seaboard from an electric two-wheeler at half the price!

AquilaOvernight Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Enjoy the outdoors with this Aquila Game Reserve special offer

parkhouseWinter Savings at The Parkhouse Hotel

Enjoy the best winter comforts at the fraction of the cost

Forex Foreign Exchange Beer Pong ObservatoryBeer Pong Night at The Forex Bar

Give this fun-filled drinking game a go every Thursday night in Observatory

hint-hunt-murder-mystery-1Corporate Team Building with HintHunt

Get the staff bonding with this exhilarating live group escape game in Cape Town

ByblosA sweet deal on Turkish appetizers every Thursday at Byblos

Get a three-for-two deal on any authentic Turkish appetizers every Thursday!

De Grendel Wine Farm WineWine Tasting at De Grendel in Durbanville

Enjoy a serene sampling experience in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs

Hout Bay Dental Studio 2016 1Teeth Whitening Special at Hout Bay Dental Studio

Brighten the midweek with a superb Thursday dental deal

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell Theatre“Kaapse Stories” at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special opening price!

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf adventure

Orphanage-cocktail-emporium-winesCocktails and Dancing at Orphanage Cocktail Emporium

Make Thursdays memorable with deep house and drinks at Cape Town’s favourite speakeasy

Avontuur Wine and Macaron PairingSpecialist Tastings at Avontuur Wine Estate

Spice up your winery experience with one of these delectable monthly pairings

AWOL-City-cycle-tour-6.jpgCape Town City Cycle Tour with AWOL Tours

Discover the rich history of Cape Town’s CBD in an active, engaging way with this exciting bicycle excursion

Manga Logo2-for-1 Stir-fry Special at Manga Restaurant

Buy one portion of noodles and get another free at this seaside spot on Thursdays

Hout Bay Dental Studio 2016 3Professional Teeth Cleaning Special at Hout Bay Dental Studio

Spruce up your pearly whites with this 20% discount for CapeTownMagazine.com readers

Vista Parties Ocean Adventurer 3Vista Parties Ocean Adventurer Birthday Party Package

Celebrate your child’s special day out to sea with this Atlantic Seaboard sailing bash

kids birthday party venue idea at waterworld strandWaterworld Strand Water Park’s Free Putt-Putt Special

False Bay’s finest family fun zone is offering a complimentary game of mini golf to birthday party bookings

Wine and cheese platter from Peter FalkeSundowners at Peter Falke Wine Farm in Stellenbosch

Toast dusk with fine wine, gorgeous cheese platters and tasty salads

Darling Winter Beer Festival 2017For the love of craft beer!

Award winning beer, delicious food, music and company of others, what more ...

Melissa's The Food ShopMelissa’s: From Humble Beginnings to ...

Comfort food + cosy atmosphere = complete peace of mind

AquilaOvernight Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Enjoy the outdoors with this Aquila Game Reserve special offer

AquilaConferences and Corporate Functions at ...

Bring your corporate family along to experience team building and business ...

PlayStation Adventure ParkThe PlayStation Adventure Park & Café

PlayStation is the new kiddies hotspot, encouraging the growth and development ...

GONOW Bike Double 07Get a huge discount on GONOW electric ...

Be blown away by the sunset over the Atlantic Seaboard from an electric ...

GONOW LogoGet a discount on Sunday Sunsets with ...

Watch the sun set over the Sea Point Promenade from an electric two-wheeler at ...

GONOW Tour 2GONOW Electric Bicycles in Cape Town

Whizz through the Mother City on one of these self-powered and ...

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