Over the years, Valentine's Day, the day of love, has acquired many different symbols, or things that represent love, romance, and passion -- everything that Valentine's Day represents. Here are a few of the more popular Valentine's Day symbols:
Cupid, the playful winged angel, spreads love by piercing hearts with his golden arrows. It's no wonder that Cupid brings people together in love. In Roman mythology, he's the god of erotic love and the son of Venus, the goddess of love. In Greek mythology, he's known as Eros, the god responsible for love, lust, and sex. While Cupid had no connection with St. Valentine or the day itself, his reputation as a matchmaker made him a symbol of Valentine's Day.
Roses, particularly red roses, symbolize love passion, and desire. Widely considered one of the most romantic gifts, these fragrant blooms are the most popular Valentine's Day gift for lovers around the world. Roses are often given as a dozen, but a single long-stemmed red rose is just as elegant and romantic.
Nothing symbolizes love and romance more than a heart. The heart represents life and when you give your heart to your partner, your giving your whole self. Popular Valentine's Day hearts include a heart with your names inside, a heart pierced with an arrow, or a heart with two love birds inside. For more info about hearts and lots of great heart-shaped ideas and gifts, check out our heart-shape page.
Valentine's Day has long been associated with love and fertility and love birds symbolize this as it's the day that they traditionally choose their mates. Love birds tend to form very close bonds with their mates, usually lasting a lifetime. Once mated, love birds become inseparable.
Doves symbolize peace, loyalty, and love. Dove birds select a partner and remain loyal throughout their life, mating only with each other.
Chocolate has long been considered a romantic gift, especially on Valentine's Day. It could be that chocolate is sweet -- like love. More likely is the fact that chocolate is an aphrodisiac leading to desirable passion. Put it in a heart shaped box and you have a classic Valentine's Day gift.
Love knots, also known as the true lovers knot, have roots dating back to before the 16th century. It's said that Dutch sailors tied these special knots to remind them of their loved ones back at home. The love knot consists of two intertwining overhand knots, symbolizing intertwined lovers. It's also often used in romantic jewelry and chains. Like true love, the simplicity is deceptive, as this knot is difficult to tie correctly. Photo by: Frank van Mierlo
Celtic Love Knots
Traced back to Arabic times, young Muslim females created celtic love knots to express their love to their sweethearts. Because the celtic love knot has no ending or beginning, it's a classic symbol of true love and therefore Valentine's Day. The concept of giving celtic love knots to symbolize your love for your partner is practiced even today.
Lace, Ribbons, and Frills
Perhaps a lesser known symbol of love and Valentine's Day, but lace, ribbon, and other frills have long been associated with love. During the times of knighthood, it's said that knights would tie ribbons to himself to represent his beloved and keep her close by while in battle. Today lace, ribbons, and frills are still used -- lace lines the boxes of heart shaped chocolates and packages and flowers are tied with romantic ribbons.