Valentine’s day in spain: 7 Facts About St. Valentine’s Day in Spain

7 Facts About St. Valentine’s Day in Spain

Although not a traditional Spanish holiday, St. Valentine’s Day in Spain is celebrated, like in most countries, with all kinds of sweet heart-shaped gifts, bouquets of flowers, cards, and romantic dinners at fancy restaurants.

Shop windows are decorated with hearts in all shades of red and pink; bars and cafés are getting creative with Valentine-themed offerings; and many events are organized throughout the country.

What’s really interesting about St. Valentine’s Day in Spain is that certain regions have their own versions of the holiday, usually celebrated with great fanfare and peculiar traditions.

Books and Roses in Catalonia

Photo: natursports/

In Barcelona and the whole region of Catalonia, couples rejoice their love on April 23, when the nation celebrates St. George’s Day or La Diada de Sant Jordi. This public holiday is also known as El Dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El Dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book), and the main event is the exchange of gifts, usually roses and books, hence the Catalan saying “A rose for love and a book forever”.

As expected, during this time of year, a myriad of stalls selling roses and books are set up all over the region; public squares are brought to life by all sorts of performers; and most of the bookstores and cafés organize readings.

This is also the day when Barcelona’s Palau de la Generalitat opens its doors to the public.

Valencia’s Day of Saint Dionysius

For people from Valencia, the most romantic day of the year is the 9th of October, when they celebrate both the Day of the Valencian Community as well as the Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Dionís), locally known as the patron saint of lovers.

This is a public holiday marked by many festivities and colorful costume parades held in the main plaza of every town and village throughout the region.

A distinctive tradition on the Day of Saint Dionysius is the custom of offering ladies a Mocadora (Mocaorà) as a sign of love and appreciation. This traditional gift consists of a nice package of marzipan figurines handcrafted by local confectioners and then wrapped up in an elegant silk scarf.

The Origin of Valentine’s Day in Spain

El Dia de San Valentin was first introduced in Spain in 1948 by José ‘Pepín’ Fernández, the founder of Galerías Preciados, who, as any clever businessman, saw this occasion as a great opportunity to boost sales in his (then) newly opened department store. The campaign’s famous motto was “Practique la elegancia social del regalo” (Practice the social elegance of the gift), a phrase that has shaped the Spanish consumer’s behavior ever since.

San Valentin Falls During Spain’s Carnival Season

Photo: Fosters/

On February 14th, Spain’s carnival season is in full swing, so why not make the most of it with a trip to the Canary Islands, Cádiz, or Sitges, where the country’s most spectacular festivities take place. Expect colorful street parades, unique processions, fireworks, and lots of good times.

Día de El Corte Inglés

Photo: venakr/

Convinced that this is a holiday invented to boost consumerism, Spanish often refer to Valentine’s Day as the Día de El Corte Inglés (Day of Corte Inglés), their main department store.

Spanish Lovers are Among the World’s Most Generous

Although, in theory, this commercial holiday has a bad reputation among Spanish people, that doesn’t mean they don’t celebrate it. On the contrary, according to Statista, Spain tops the list when it comes to the average amount of money spent on Valentine’s Day gifts. In 2017, for example, the country ranked first in Europe with an average of €123.14 per person, while in 2018, it was the first in the world, surpassing the United States.

Valentine’s Day or Not, Spain Is Overflowing with Romance

Día de los Enamorados is a great time to visit the Land of Cervantes, but the truth is, you don’t need a reason to get caught up in the fire and romance of Spain.

Take in the beauty of historic Seville from a horse-drawn carriage, stroll around the majestic Alhambra at sunset, and get lost amid secret cobbled alleyways and tiny plazas in the country’s charming lost-in-time villages.

From stellar dining to ancient baths, an abundance of romantic experiences await couples in colorful Barcelona, whereas Madrid is teeming with spectacular parks and gardens that inspire love.

Wild, deserted beaches invite horseback riding and long, relaxing walks along the Atlantic, and La Rioja – with its spectacular scenery, sprawling vineyards, and quaint bodegas – provides an idyllic backdrop for lovers in search of a peaceful retreat.

Valentine’s Day traditions in Spain — idealista

Learn more about Valentine’s Day in Spain

Alex Martinez on Unsplash

10 February 2023, Tom Beck

Love is in the air as 14th February 2023, Valentine’s Day, is almost upon us once again. It’s time to get your flowers and chocolates and get ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day Spanish-style!

Valentine’s Day in Spanish is known as El Día de San Valentín and is celebrated in Spain in a similar way to the rest of the world – couples and lovers go out for dinner, buy each other fancy gifts and just generally celebrate being in love. 

Does Spain celebrate Valentine’s Day? Of all the traditional holidays in Spain, San Valentín is by no means the most important, but it is still widely celebrated and there are some curious and interesting facts about Valentine’s Day in Spain that you should know about. These are our favourite Spanish Valentine’s Day traditions


  1. Why is it called Valentine’s Day?
  2. Is Valentine’s day a holiday in Spain?
  3. More than one “Day of Love” in Spain
  4. You can also celebrate not being in love
  5. LGBTQ+ friendly
  6. Valentine’s Day food in Spain

Why is it called Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, an Italian born in the Umbria region in 174 BC, who was canonised by the Catholic Church. Spaniards have a great appreciation for Catholic holidays thanks to their history as a traditionally Catholic country, and every single day in the calendar is named after a saint, sometimes even two. This particular saint, who symbolises health, kindness and love (Valentine literally means “healthy”) is usually represented with a palm leaf and a sword, symbols of matrimonial union.

One legend has it that Bishop Valentine of Rome married soldiers in defiance of a papal decree saying soldiers could not marry, and he was executed on February 14th. However, there are many conflicting versions of the story of the life and death of Saint Valentine, many of which haven’t been proven. As a result, the Catholic Church actually stopped celebrating this holiday in 1969, but all around the world, it is still a very important date.

Is Valentine’s day a holiday in Spain?

While Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Spain, it is not a national holiday. Like in most countries, Valentine’s day in Spain is widely recognised as a day of love and romance, and is of course celebrated with all kinds of heart-shaped gifts, red roses, Spanish Valentine’s Day cards, and romantic dinners at fancy restaurants.

More than one “Day of Love” in Spain

While most people are used to celebrating romantic love in mid-February, there are some places in Spain where they have a different date for the ‘Día de los Enamorados’, translated as “Lovers’ Day”. In Barcelona, for example, the patron saint of the city is St. George, and on 23rd April each year, the Catalonian people take advantage of this festival to celebrate love and books. Around the time of the Sant Jordi festival in Barcelona, the city is traditionally filled with book fairs and people give books and roses as tokens of their love and affection.

In Valencia, the celebration of love isn’t celebrated until 9th October during the feast of St Dionysius, or San Dionisio, when people give one another presentswhich consist of marzipan wrapped in handkerchiefs. Tradition has it that the beloved who receives the gift must hold onto the handkerchief forever as proof of how long they have been with their partner.

You can also celebrate not being in love

As in many other places in the world, Single’s Day is gaining ground in Spain. This is a holiday to recognise the joys and pride of being single and not in a relationship. While the Chinese typically celebrate this holiday on 11th November (11/11 because 1 is said to be the loneliest number), in other parts of the world, including Spain where it is known as El Día de los Solteros, Single’s Day, is celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day, on 13th February.

LGBTQ+ friendly

Spain regularly tops the list of the best countries in Europe to be gay, with a strong culture of gay pride and lots of specialist events. Valentine’s Day is no longer only for straight love, and Spain proves it with several LGBT+ nights traditionally happening in February in nightclubs across the country. A large number of these events tend to take place in Madrid. 

Valentine’s Day food in Spain

The best seafood in Spain comes from Galicia, like these romantic oysters


One of the things many people do on Valentine’s Day is give chocolates, cakes and other heart-shaped or pink food to show their love. In Spain this tradition is the same, but unfortunately there isn’t really any specific food that Spanish people only eat at this time of the year. Nevertheless, if you want to treat your loved one to a romantic meal, Spain is the best place to do it thanks to its fresh, high-quality ingredients. You can impress your other half by cooking some traditional Spanish food such as Galician oysters, or perhaps a light and typically Spanish sweet dessert like flan de huevo, to make sure that Valentine’s Day 2023 is one to be remembered.

And to finish off, you need to be able to greet people on this special day; so how do you say Happy Valentine’s Day in Spanish? “¡Feliz Día de San Valentín!


Spanish festivals

Traditional holidays in Spain

Spanish culture

Valentine’s Day celebration in Spain. Spain in Russian

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about all offers


Valentine’s Day is not a traditional Spanish holiday. The celebration of St. Valentine’s Day in Spain began relatively recently, in the middle of the 20th century, and is largely due to the popularization of the famous Anglo-American holiday of all lovers in Europe.

Spaniards are a very conservative nation when it comes to holidays. In addition to the national ones, in each autonomy, province, in each city (sometimes even on some streets of cities and towns) they celebrate their own holidays, the popularity of which in many respects surpasses the national ones, especially foreign ones. Until now, many Spaniards of the middle and older generation refuse to accept the figure of Santa Claus and celebrate the Festival of the Magician Kings as the main winter children’s holiday. As for the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day in Spain, a similar situation has developed here, so St. Valentine’s Day in Spain has spread primarily among the youth. At the same time, in some regions, Valentine’s Day is celebrated 2 times: on February 14 and on another day according to local traditions. So, for example, in Catalonia on April 23, they celebrate the feast of St. George, which is considered the local day of lovers.

On Valentine’s Day in Spain it is not customary to arrange any grandiose processions or celebrations. A traditional gift for the Spaniards on this day are roses, often red. On the other hand, men often choose other flowers according to the preferences of their fair half. A romantic dinner in one of the city’s restaurants becomes a pleasant end to the day. However, many restaurants offer a special menu on this day.

In recent years, romantic weekends dedicated to the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day have become very popular in Spain. The most popular hotels are located in the countryside (casas rurales), where remoteness from the noise of cities and a picturesque setting enhance the feeling of togetherness and romance. On the other hand, many city hotels offer interesting programs, especially those with spas. Often, foreign couples specially come to Spain on February 14 to arrange an unforgettable holiday for themselves, using one of their favorite offers. Despite February, the weather in the Mediterranean part of Spain at this time of the year allows you to enjoy the warm rays of the sun, a light sea breeze, etc.

If you want to spend an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, a trip to Spain is the perfect choice. If you are already in Spain, be sure to take advantage of one of the special offers of local hotels and restaurants. Employees of the Center for Services for Business and Life in Spain “Spain in Russian” will provide you with the necessary assistance. Call us at the numbers listed on the site, and your Valentine’s Day in Spain will be unforgettable!

Need help in Spain? The service center “Spain in Russian” is more than 100 types of services in Russian in any region of Spain.

+7 495 236 98 99 or +34 93 272 64 90, [email protected]

spain, spain, holiday, love, tradition, saint valentine, how to celebrate, valentine’s day, valentine’s day, valentine’s day

Was the article helpful?