Saint Valentine’s Day celebration in Russia and Ukraine

Ksenia L.
3 min readFeb 24, 2022

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Many people exchange cards, sweets, presents, or flowers with their “valentine” on February 14th every year. Saint Valentine’s Day, along with Halloween and other customs like throwing wedding bouquets or sending air kisses, has been adopted from the United States in Russia and Ukraine. Despite the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church explicitly rejects this Western practice, young people use it as a justification for romantic dates.

Valentine’s Day was introduced to Russia as an accepted holiday in the early 1990s and rapidly became one of the most popular love holidays in the country. In addition to the so-called Day of Family, Love, and Faithfulness celebrated on the 8th of July, its yearly commemoration on the 14th of February is honored not only by young adults and school students but also by the mature audience (the day of Saints Peter and Fevronia which is being promoted by the Russian Orthodox Church since 2008).

Despite the fact that there are no specific Russian or Ukrainian customs, Russians, and Ukrainians, like the rest of the world, make the most of this beautiful occasion. So, if you’re intending to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day with a woman you met on a dating site, keep in mind that you may make your celebration as romantic and memorable as you want it to be by using your creativity. Russians and Ukrainians are romantics to the core. Here are some suggestions to help you get your creative juices flowing:

* Relax with a drink of fine wine and a handmade candle-lit meal.

* Cuddle up and watch an old love movie (ideally in Russian/Ukrainian — so you can improve your Russian/Ukrainian).

* Take a romantic walk in the park or on the beach while holding hands and exchanging childhood memories.

* Make a reservation at a fine dining establishment and surprise your sweetheart.

* Send each other sweet letters.

In Russia and Ukraine, Valentine’s Day is all about showing your significant other how much you care. This implies that when it comes to gifts, you may be as inventive as you want. Any present that expresses romantic emotions would be much appreciated. A framed photo of you both having fun, or a poem written for your significant other, for example, would be an ideal Valentine’s Day present.

One of the most romantic gestures is the gift of flowers. Flowers are a favorite of all Russian and Ukrainian females. A bouquet of fresh roses, tulips, orchids, or other flowers will undoubtedly make her happy. If your girlfriend has a sweet taste, she will undoubtedly appreciate a box of chocolates.

It can be a good idea to greet your Russian or Ukrainian girlfriend a Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s how you write it in Russian:

С Днём Святого Валентина! [s DNYOM svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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