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Valentine’s Day with Virginie In Provence: gift ideas and the history of lovers' day…

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Valentine’s Day with Virginie In Provence: gift ideas and the history of lovers' day…
Virginie In Provence and his husband

As in all countries, we celebrate Valentine's Day in France and therefore in Provence. And yet Aix-en-Provence only comes in eighth place in the ranking of the most romantic cities in France. This does not prevent the people of Aix from celebrating Lovers' Day.

Valentine's Day has its history, its followers but also its detractors.

Valentine’s Day with Virginie In Provence: gift ideas and the history of lovers' day…
An elderly couple

But how was Valentine's day born ?

Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day!

There are many stories about the origin of Valentine's Day.

Today, I'm going to share two of them with you.

The first dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, the church decided to celebrate Valentin de Terni, martyr priest of the Roman Empire, who used to organize Christian weddings banned by Emperor Claudius II. He feared that men would become attached to their wives. These marriages therefore earned him his arrest and then sentenced to death on February 14. It was therefore in 495 that Pope Gelasius I decided to designate her as the patron saint of lovers.

The second story, like many Christian holidays, has a pagan origin. We must go back to antiquity, when the Romans celebrated Lupercalia (between February 13 and 15) to celebrate Lupercus, the god of fertility.

Considered as a custom almost everywhere in the world, the tradition is to offer a gift to the loved one on Valentine's Day.

How to express love in french ?

I read a lot about how to say we have feelings for a person. The one and only is:

- Je t’aime ! I love you !

“Je vous aime” can be used when you talk to several people at the same time, such as your children or friends for example. This phrase can also be used when you use "you" with your loved ones.

You may hear other expressions but they are often quite cliché. I will tell you about it in a future article.

What types of gifts are given the most ?

There is no rule that obliges the woman or the man to give a gift for Valentine's Day. And yet, the average basket for a gift in 2022 is around 114 euros according to Proxity (i.e. 22 euros more than in 2021).

The most popular Valentine's Day gifts are, in order:

- Jewelry

- Lingerie

- Flowers

- Perfume

Romantic moments are also organized such as a romantic weekend, a wellness day, a walk in a romantic place, etc.

And you, what would you like to receive on Valentine's Day?

Valentine's day, a popular holiday?

99% of French people know Valentine's Day. In 2022, just over half of French people intended to celebrate Valentine's Day: the most motivated being those under 35. Valentine's Day therefore has many followers. But it also has its detractors.

According to a sentence by the ObSoCo sociologist published in Le Figaro: “8 out of 10 French people associate consumption with happiness”. For some, Valentine's Day therefore remains a commercial holiday and that's it. Is it the same in your country?

Having a lover, but at what cost?

Every year, at this time, the same questions can come up:

- Who are you going to spend Valentine's Day with?

- What are you going to do for Valentine's Day?

- What are you going to give to your loved one?

Social pressure is sometimes felt to the point that having no one for Valentine's Day can be experienced as a failure: fear of judgment from friends, work colleagues, those around you...

The eternal debate

I therefore open the debate with the following question: What about self-love then?

Many holidays allow us to express our love to others throughout the year such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, etc. This is why the author of the book “Madly in love with ME”, Christine Arylo, created the

International Day of Self-Love. This day is celebrated on February 13.

Self-love is built and develops throughout our lives. It is therefore essential to take care of it and take advantage of the opportunities offered to us to maintain it. An unknown author once wrote, “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve someone else a drink if your carafe is empty.”

If this is the case with self-care, isn't it the same with love?


  • L’amour – love

  • L’amour de soi - self love

  • Je t’aime – I love you

  • Je vous aime – I love you more formal or when you talk to more than one person)

  • Un amoureux (n.m.) - a lover

  • Une amoureuse (n.f.) - a lover

  • Tomber amoureux: to fall in love

  • Un couple (n.m.): a couple

  • Des fleurs (n.f.): flowers

  • Être romantique (adj.): to be romantic 

  • Des cadeaux (n.m.): gifts

  • Une lettre d’amour (n.f.): a love letter

  • Un dîner aux chandelles (n.m.): a candlelight dinner

  • Une escapade romantique (n.f.): a romantic getaway

  • Offrir (v..): to offer

  • Recevoir (v.); to receive

If you come to my place for an immersion stay in Provence, I will make you discover the different aspects of Provence: the landscapes and the scents, but also the culture, the gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French. See you soon in Provence!

Virginie In Provence


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