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.

Wed
H:23°
L:11°
Thu
H:24°
L:13°
Fri
H:21°
L:15°
Sat
H:24°
L:15°
Sun
H:24°
L:14°
Mon
H:20°
L:13°
Tue
H:19°
L:13°
Cape Town Events Calendar
May 2016
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
29 30 31

cafe Roux SessionsCafé Roux Sessions in Noordhoek

Enjoy an intimate evening of live music with South Africa’s most talented ...

District Six Kanala Musical in Cape Town District Six - Kanala Musical

David Kramer brings another lekker local production to the Mother City

Oppiwater KunstefeesOppiwater Arts Festival on the MSC ...

Cruise into the sunset with a show that floats your boat

Excentric interior 5Hair and Nail Special at Excentric Hair ...

First-time clients save R100 on beauty services at this sleek Sea Point ...

Ajax Cape TownAjax Cape Town vs Jomo Cosmos at the ...

It’s Gauteng versus the Western Cape in the next PSL clash in the Mother City

Murder Mystery Dinners in Cape TownMurder Mystery Dinner Parties Cape Town

Intrigue, secrecy and cold-blooded killings are the order of the day at these ...

Cape Town Concert SeriesCape Town Concert Series at the Baxter ...

Add a sweet melody to the end of your summer with these stirring and soulful ...

Dinner Club at Borage Bistro Cape TownDinner at Borage Bistro

Cap off the workday with a superb supper at this urban-chic CBD eatery

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 ...

blokes-and-brew.jpgWednesday Haircut Special at Blokes ...

Pair a bespoke haircut with a cold beer every Wednesday for just R190 at Blokes ...

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialDinner Special at Sotano in Cape Town

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

Hotel Verde Earth Hour TableCelebrate Earth Hour at Africa’s ...

Hotel Verde invites you to ‘switch off’ and enjoy an eco-friendly feast ...

Underwater Photographer of the YearThe Underwater Photographer of the Year ...

Dive down deep into an underwater world of superlative photography

Damn Vandal Art ExhibitionDamn Vandal ‘Other Worldly’ ...

Gorgeous graffiti-inspired artworks await at this urban-style exhibit

Cape Town Youth Choir Handel's Messiah 1SA College of Music Concert Series

Music has the power to inspire, and these scholars appreciate its true meaning

The Village Idiot Restaurant & Bar in Cape TownSunday Winter Craftsmen Braai at The ...

Celebrate the last day of the week with blazing fires and epic food experiences ...

broads logo 1Wednesday Haircut, Blow Dry and ...

Step out in salon style: get a cut, treatment and Brigitte Bardot worthy blow ...

Life-Rob Van Vuuren-3Life by Rob van Vuuren

Laugh out loud as Rob van Vuuren takes the funny back in time to the date of ...

Love Factually - 2Alan Committie in Love Factually

Love to be in love? Love to laugh? Then Alan Committie is your knight in ...

City Hall by Joshua OatesAutumn Symphony Season

A classical way to spend an autumn evening in the city

Backtracker Cycling Back UnitCycling Events in the Western Cape

Use this handy cycling overview to diarise your favourite events for the ...

aFREAKa Clothing Adult Pikachu OnesieaFREAKa Clothing Adult Onesies

Unleash your inner freak in one of these playful and trendy locally designed ...

The Underwater ExhibitionUnderwater Cape Town Exhibition

A kaleidoscope of skin comes to life in a popular pool

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointCoffee Special at Strolla Restaurant ...

Start your day with a hot cuppa for a steal of a price at this chic seaside ...

RicksHappy Hour Special at Rick’s Café ...

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

marianne wine estate 62 –for- 1 Wine Experiences at ...

From a wine and biltong pairing to a vino blending experience, there something ...

Spasie Underground Restaurant Wine PairingsPocket Watch Wednesdays at [spasie] ...

How to crack the nod to a one-of-a-kind dinner at this invite-only speakeasy

ByeCycle Electric Bicycle Luxury Tours Cape TownSunday Morning Electric Bike Tour ...

Enjoy a leisurely weekend breakfast ride around Cape Town for less thanks to ...

Hazendal 7All-day Breakfast at Hazendal Wine ...

Tuck into scrumptious brekkie foods any time of the day at this farm’s ...

La Mer Restaurant at Radisson Blue La Vendome in Sea PointLadies’ Night at Cpoint. Bar & Lounge ...

Dames get a complimentary signature cocktail upon arrival at this chic Atlantic ...

scooter hire cape bike travelScooter Hire from Cape Bike Travel

Hop on a moped or Vespa, take in the sights and navigate the streets of the ...

Boschendal Wine FarmSunday Lunch Buffet at Boschendal Wine ...

Tuck into a traditional Cape feast in an age-old manor house in the Drakenstein ...

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

Book a full head of highlights for any Wednesday at this stylish spa and get a ...

cafe Roux SessionsCafé Roux Sessions in Noordhoek

Enjoy an intimate evening of live music with South Africa’s most talented ...

District Six Kanala Musical in Cape Town District Six - Kanala Musical

David Kramer brings another lekker local production to the Mother City

Oppiwater KunstefeesOppiwater Arts Festival on the MSC ...

Cruise into the sunset with a show that floats your boat

Excentric interior 5Hair and Nail Special at Excentric Hair ...

First-time clients save R100 on beauty services at this sleek Sea Point ...

Ajax Cape TownAjax Cape Town vs Jomo Cosmos at the ...

It’s Gauteng versus the Western Cape in the next PSL clash in the Mother City

Murder Mystery Dinners in Cape TownMurder Mystery Dinner Parties Cape Town

Intrigue, secrecy and cold-blooded killings are the order of the day at these ...

Cape Town Concert SeriesCape Town Concert Series at the Baxter ...

Add a sweet melody to the end of your summer with these stirring and soulful ...

Dinner Club at Borage Bistro Cape TownDinner at Borage Bistro

Cap off the workday with a superb supper at this urban-chic CBD eatery

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 ...

blokes-and-brew.jpgWednesday Haircut Special at Blokes ...

Pair a bespoke haircut with a cold beer every Wednesday for just R190 at Blokes ...

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialDinner Special at Sotano in Cape Town

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

Hotel Verde Earth Hour TableCelebrate Earth Hour at Africa’s ...

Hotel Verde invites you to ‘switch off’ and enjoy an eco-friendly feast ...

Underwater Photographer of the YearThe Underwater Photographer of the Year ...

Dive down deep into an underwater world of superlative photography

Damn Vandal Art ExhibitionDamn Vandal ‘Other Worldly’ ...

Gorgeous graffiti-inspired artworks await at this urban-style exhibit

Cape Town Youth Choir Handel's Messiah 1SA College of Music Concert Series

Music has the power to inspire, and these scholars appreciate its true meaning

The Village Idiot Restaurant & Bar in Cape TownSunday Winter Craftsmen Braai at The ...

Celebrate the last day of the week with blazing fires and epic food experiences ...

broads logo 1Wednesday Haircut, Blow Dry and ...

Step out in salon style: get a cut, treatment and Brigitte Bardot worthy blow ...

Life-Rob Van Vuuren-3Life by Rob van Vuuren

Laugh out loud as Rob van Vuuren takes the funny back in time to the date of ...

Love Factually - 2Alan Committie in Love Factually

Love to be in love? Love to laugh? Then Alan Committie is your knight in ...

City Hall by Joshua OatesAutumn Symphony Season

A classical way to spend an autumn evening in the city

Backtracker Cycling Back UnitCycling Events in the Western Cape

Use this handy cycling overview to diarise your favourite events for the ...

aFREAKa Clothing Adult Pikachu OnesieaFREAKa Clothing Adult Onesies

Unleash your inner freak in one of these playful and trendy locally designed ...

The Underwater ExhibitionUnderwater Cape Town Exhibition

A kaleidoscope of skin comes to life in a popular pool

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointCoffee Special at Strolla Restaurant ...

Start your day with a hot cuppa for a steal of a price at this chic seaside ...

RicksHappy Hour Special at Rick’s Café ...

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

marianne wine estate 62 –for- 1 Wine Experiences at ...

From a wine and biltong pairing to a vino blending experience, there something ...

Spasie Underground Restaurant Wine PairingsPocket Watch Wednesdays at [spasie] ...

How to crack the nod to a one-of-a-kind dinner at this invite-only speakeasy

ByeCycle Electric Bicycle Luxury Tours Cape TownSunday Morning Electric Bike Tour ...

Enjoy a leisurely weekend breakfast ride around Cape Town for less thanks to ...

Hazendal 7All-day Breakfast at Hazendal Wine ...

Tuck into scrumptious brekkie foods any time of the day at this farm’s ...

La Mer Restaurant at Radisson Blue La Vendome in Sea PointLadies’ Night at Cpoint. Bar & Lounge ...

Dames get a complimentary signature cocktail upon arrival at this chic Atlantic ...

scooter hire cape bike travelScooter Hire from Cape Bike Travel

Hop on a moped or Vespa, take in the sights and navigate the streets of the ...

Boschendal Wine FarmSunday Lunch Buffet at Boschendal Wine ...

Tuck into a traditional Cape feast in an age-old manor house in the Drakenstein ...

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

Book a full head of highlights for any Wednesday at this stylish spa and get a ...

Noddy at Artscape 2Noddy - The Stage Show

Is Noddy really a toy? Can he stay in Toyland?

The Tea Bar Sign WindowThe Tea Bar on Long Street

Cape Town’s newest (and first) hotspot dedicated solely to the leafy brew

Neill Anthony Cooking 410 Questions For: Neill Anthony

This Cape Town-based private chef has cooked for the likes of Madonna, Victoria ...

Cirque E 3Cirque Éloize iD

This time around, it’s our turn to experience the fusion!

The Dino ExpoThe Dino Expo at Cape Gate Shopping ...

Explore the life-size robotic rexes and other pre-historic creatures at this ...

Nigel Pierce Blue Suit10 Questions For: Nigel Pierce

Good Hope FM presenter of the Nigel Pierce Show, this well-known Cape Town ...

Bowhaus Play AreaBowhaus Doggy Daycare in Woodstock

Drop your fur-child off for the day at this brand new cage-free and leash-free ...

Beerhouse Restaurant and Bar in Cape TownPub Quiz Night at Beerhouse on Long ...

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

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.