On the 14th of February every year we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a day marked by love, affection, romance, and people wondering how to spell Valentine’s Day! But how do you spell Valentine’s Day, is it Valentine’s Day or Valentines Day? Let’s take a look.
Valentine’s Day or Valentines Day?
With couples exchanging gifts, flowers, and Valentine’s Day cards, Valentine’s Day is the time of year when people are writing love letters and romantic messages to each other. If you’re anything like me, you want to write using proper grammar, so it’s important to know whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Valentines Day. That apostrophe makes all the difference!
So, how do you spell Valentine’s Day? The answer is Valentine’s Day. The clue was in the title! But why is this the case?
Why is it Called Valentine’s Day?
While the origins of Valentine’s Day are not entirely clear, it is commonly associated with Saint Valentine and the observance of his feast day. Saint Valentine was a Christian martyr who lived during the Roman Empire.
Because Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, it is his day and the day belongs to him. We therefore use the possessive form, so it takes an apostrophe s. It is for this reason it is called Valentine’s Day and not Valentines Day. The same applies to other days named after saints such as St. Patrick’s Day and St. George’s Day.
Saint Valentine’s Day became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages, and by the 18th century, it had evolved into a day where people expressed their love for one another through the exchange of cards, gifts, and flowers. Today, it is a fully commercialized romantic holiday, punctuated by red roses, cards, gifts, and declarations of love. So, the history of Valentine’s Day is a long one!
When Can You Use Valentine?
Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean that you can’t use Valentine. It’s just used in different contexts.
Firstly, Valentine can be a name, which is a proper noun. In this form, we write it with a capital v because all proper nouns are capitalized. Many people are still called Valentine today.
However, we can also use the non-capitalized form “valentine”. This can refer to two things:
- Somebody chosen or complimented on Valentine’s Day. For example, you can ask; “Will you be my valentine?” If you get a positive response, you could be going on a date!
- A greeting card or gift that is given or sent to someone on Valentine’s Day. For example, “She received lots of valentines yesterday”. These tend to be in the form of Valentine’s Day cards.
Just remember, on Valentine’s Day you might receive a valentine. Valentine’s Day punctuation really is that simple!
What About Other Holidays?
It’s not just Valentine’s Day that has an apostrophe s you know. Check out the punctuation of some of the other well-known holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- April Fools’ Day
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- Veterans Day
- Christmas Day (just look out for the plural form of Christmas)!