Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Australia

Embrace the Australian way of celebrating love on Valentine’s Day.

12 February 2024

A couple walking under jacaranda trees and holding hands

Jacarandas in Spring, Sydney. Image credit: Destination NSW

As February unfolds in Australia, you might have noticed  red and pink decorations, heart-shaped chocolates and red roses in shop windows.  

Yes, you guessed it – Valentine’s Day is approaching, and it happens every year on 14 February.  

Let’s  look at what Valentine’s Day means in Australia and how you can make the most of it – whether you're celebrating with a special someone or close friends.  

The history of Valentine’s Day  

The exact origins of Valetine’s Day aren’t clear. Some say the day is named after St. Valentine, a Roman priest who lived during the third century. Legend has it that Emperor Claudius II decided single men made better soldiers, so he banned marriage for young men. Valentine secretly married couples against the Emperor's orders. Sadly, he was caught and put to death. 

How Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Australia  

For couples in Australia, Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with a romantic date and sometimes a gift and a card. How elaborate and romantic the gestures are varies from person to person and, in fact, some couples may choose not to celebrate at all!    

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, so some people may choose to have a proper celebration on the weekend before or after.  

Some single groups of friends choose to get together and have a nice dinner that celebrates their friendship.  

Ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day  

Restaurants usually bookout for Valentine’s Day, and often they have special set menus for the day which can be expensive. 

Here are some other great ideas to make your day special:  

  • A picnic: pack up some picnic food, a rug, a speaker and head to a beautiful park or beach.  
  • Have an outdoor adventure: Go on a hike, bike ride or a scenic drive together and explore a place you haven't been before.  
  • Cultural activities: Check out local art galleries or cultural events happening around your city. Explore new exhibitions or see a live performance.  
  • Have a night in: Cook a special dinner at home (with candles of course) and watch a romantic film.  
  • Outdoor cinema: See if your city has an outdoor cinema. Pack up a picnic, a rug and some cushions and watch a movie under the stars.  

Valentines Day gift ideas  

Gifts on a budget:

  • chocolates
  • a handmade card 
  • a thoughtful photo album documenting your time together 
  • write a poem. 

And the more expensive kind:  

  • a bunch of flowers 
  • jewellery (you might even consider getting it engraved)  
  • food and wine 
  • a weekend away
  • a spa or bath house day. 

All the single ladies... (and men)

Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love. It doesn't matter whether you're spending Valentine's Day with a partner, friends or celebrating the love you have for yourself.  

Remember that the most important thing to do is cherish the connections you have and celebrate the joy of love in all its forms.

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