You can’t ask me that!

Do we really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Continuing her series on socially unacceptable questions, Christine Manby wonders whether it would really be unromantic for a couple to forget about this annual ritual

Friday 14 February 2020 08:00 GMT
Illustrations by Tom Ford
Illustrations by Tom Ford

Of all the Hallmark Holidays, St Valentine’s Day must be the most despicable. What started out as a festival to celebrate love has become, like every other special day, a full on competitive consumer-fest.

It’s estimated that we Brits spend more than £500m a year on Valentine’s Day and its related tat. Since 26 December, the shops have been full of glittery heart-shaped cards, sickly heart-shaped chocolates and thousands of heart-shaped pink plastic nick-nacks designed to show your love for that one special person and your general disregard for the environment.

Everybody knows it’s rubbish, and yet if you don’t receive at least a single rose, air-freighted halfway round the world and wrapped in non-biodegradable cellophane – well, what does that say about your relationship?

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