According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people choosing to stay single has reached record levels. The UK is now home to more than 1,65 million single men and 1,27 million women. But no matter if you’re single or not, Valentine's Day is still one of the most celebrated holidays in the country.
Each year the British spend around £503 million on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts for Valentine's Day. Traditionally these were sent anonymously but today it’s often made clear who is sending each Valentine.
Valentine’s Day traditions of the past
UK has a longtime history of Valentines Day traditions. This day was traditionally considered the beginning of spring, when birds chose their mates. In certain parts of Sussex it was even called the Birds' Wedding Day.
There were also plenty of superstitions linked with this day. For example, if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy but if she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich person.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentines would be and would wear those names on their sleeves for one week. In Wales they would carve wooden love spoons and give as gifts on Valentines Day; hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons and meant, "You unlock my heart".
Valentine’s gifts of today
Valentine’s Day is all about spontaneity and imagination so it’s better to look for gifts that are slightly off the beaten track and can surprise the recipient.
1. Acre of Land on the Moon gift packs. It’s a perfect gift for the person who has everything but lacks their very own Moon land. They'll own their own lunar moon land with official documentation to prove it and their very own map to locate the acre of moon land should they fancy going into the orbit.
2. Personalised vinyl plaques. Personalised vinyl plaques represent actual original singles put into an amazing personalised frame which has a message of your choice on a plaque. This gift covers all UK Number Ones from 1952 to 1991 and the best part of this gift is that it can actually be played.
3. Sailing Experience on a Thames barge for two. You and your partner will have a relaxing day out on a historic vessel, enjoying the scenery, the good food and the thrill of seeing these large vessels under sail. You can even become involved in hoisting sails and steering if you wish.
Valentines Day is the perfect day to celebrate love and friendship, even if you’re single. There’s no gift quite as good as the one you pick yourself so be creative and opt for something new and unusual.
Related article: Valentines Day 2012: Plan Romance In Advance (Valentines Day)