Transcript of the video
I gave you flowers yesterday. The day before yesterday!
For or against Valentine's Day?
Valentine's Day is the holiday for lovers. But a lot of people also find it a bit of a commercial holiday, a bit old-fashioned. In general, either we love it or we hate it. Today, I suggest you use the theme of Valentine's Day and love to practice your French and learn new vocabulary.
Welcome to my channel! If you don't know me, I'm Elisabeth from HELLOFRENCH. Every week, I post videos to help you improve your French. Like and subscribe ! Let's start right away with the history of Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is a chestnut.
The word chestnut, we use it to talk about something that comes up every year. For example: Halloween, Valentine's Day, April 1ᵉʳ... These are chestnut trees. This holiday is celebrated every year in honor of Saint Valentine. But who is this Valentine? There are a tremendous amount of legends, stories around this holiday.
Let me tell you one. In one of the legends, Valentine was a Roman who supposedly lived in the IIIᵉ century during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius must not have been very nice because he was nicknamed Claudius, the Cruel. Claudius had a lot of trouble, he had trouble recruiting new soldiers.
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So he thought about it and he said that probably the reason why he couldn't get new soldiers, good soldiers, was because they were too busy finding women and having children. So he decided to ban marriages.
This is where Valentin comes in. Valentin would have been a priest who would have made marriages in secret. When the emperor Claude would have discovered it, he would have been furious. He would have had him arrested and executed on February 14th. In any case, today, Valentine's Day is the holiday that is associated with lovers, with the celebration of the loved one, the person we love. It is a rather romantic holiday, even very romantic.
It is a holiday that couples use to spend time together, have romantic dinners together, celebrate their love. Is Valentine's Day a commercial holiday? I think we can all agree that it is, at least a little bit. Even if for some people, there is a big sentimental attachment to this holiday... It's a moment in the year that brands use to promote themselves, to put themselves forward. So notably florists, jewelers, but also for example chocolate makers or cosmetic brands.
It's true that it can be quite common to buy a perfume for Valentine's Day. So obviously, the meaning of Valentine's Day is up to each person, each person lives it as they see fit. No one is obliged to celebrate it. What can you do on Valentine's Day in France?
Well, in France, but that must be the case almost everywhere. The most common thing to do is to go to a restaurant. So almost every restaurant will have a special menu for Valentine's Day.
That's really the classic one. Or you can also have a couple's dinner at home, a romantic dinner at home. What is also very common is to give flowers to the person you love on Valentine's Day. We says I love you in French. In fact, I don't think you'll find any florists closed on Valentine's Day, because it's a very important day for their business. Is Valentine's Day more important in the United States than in France?
Well, I think so. The United States has a long tradition of celebrating Valentine's Day with advertising campaigns that are quite aggressive and a strong commercial presence in stores. So it can give the impression that Valentine's Day is more important in the United States, that it is more celebrated in popular culture.
If you are American, tell me if this is really the case. But in any case, in the movies that we can watch or in the American series that we can watch in France, we see very often in the colleges or in the high schools that the students make cards or write cards to each other for Valentine's Day.
In France, it's not done at all. So I would say that in France, Valentine's Day is celebrated, but maybe in a slightly more subtle way. It's maybe a little less commercially oriented than in other countries, like it might be in the US. Do I celebrate Valentine's Day?
Well, it's been a long time since I've celebrated this day or done something special, or had someone give me something for Valentine's Day. I gave you flowers yesterday! The day before yesterday! That's just what I was going to say, that for me, it's not an important holiday at all. It's not something I care about at all. I'd rather it be a bit of a love fest every day than this day. Even, I find it a little embarrassing to go to a restaurant specifically on February 14th where you're just going to have a lot of couples around you. I find that a little awkward.
I'm not very comfortable. And like I said, I prefer to have little touches all year long for the person I'm with or, I prefer, that the person I'm with has little touches for me. Like for example, last week I was sick and my husband bought me the cookies I like at the supermarket. He brought me flowers, even though it wasn't a specific day. It was not the day of the lovers' day.
So I think it's even more touching, because it's not an imposed date. My husband thought of it on his own. Oooooh voilà! Yes, bravo! I really think the last time I did something for Valentine's Day was in 2017. And it was with a with a friend. She came to my house. We ate a raclette in front of the show Top Chef, which is a very famous cooking show in France, and I think that was the last time I organized in quotes something.
Anyway, if you are planning to celebrate Valentine's Day, I wish you a very nice day. I hope you will have all the attention you deserve and don't hesitate to tell me in comments what you have planned or what you would like your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend to organize for this lovers' day. I say to you very soon and I send you a lot of love.