14th February

Valentine’s Day is one of the most famous holidays in the world. It falls on February the 14th and is celebrated across the world. It is the traditional day for lovers to express their love to each other. They do this by sending Valentine’s cards with romantic messages. It is common to leave the card unsigned. Other traditions on this day are buying chocolates and giving red roses. Valentine’s Day used to be an American and European thing, but now it has gone all over the world. It has become very commercial. Companies that make Valentine’s goods even encourage people to send Valentine’s cards to their parents and other family members! Today, over one billion are sent worldwide, with women sending 85 per cent of them. In Japan, only women give Valentine’s gifts – to all the men they know.

Different companies slowly saw the opportunities to make money from Valentine’s Day. In the 1980s, diamond companies began promoting jewellery as the ultimate Valentine’s gift. French and Italian restaurants are also very busy on this day.

However, very surprisingly, today is also the Singles Awareness Day (SAD), a holiday for those who like not being attached. On SAD, singles around the world go out and celebrate their single status. They want to show that being single is a reason to celebrate and that you don’t have to have a partner to be happy. People who celebrate this day greet one another with the greeting “Happy SAD!” Other people send themselves flowers, buy themselves chocolates and send themselves Happy SAD cards. It’s all a good excuse for singles to have some fun and spoil themselves for a day.

Listen now to what some people think about it. Mel and Doron discuss various Valentine experiences, listen to them and complete the quiz that includes the comprehension Q’s on the right!

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