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It’s that time of year again. The time when the lovers sing, the poets cry and singletons find somewhere else to be. That annual celebration of the very concept of being in love. Valentine’s Day. And, as always, we at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge are more than happy to help make your special day with your special someone extra special.

Season of Love

Some of you may think that the season we’re currently experiencing is known as the Winter. But you’d be wrong. For a few days in the middle of February, the winter magically morphs into a bizarre fantasyland of hearts and roses. Love is in the air and temperatures are rising. So for a few days at least, winter is banished.

And we do mean a few days. True, Valentine’s is supposedly a single day, February 14th. And it is oh so typical and traditional for couples to enjoy a romantic dinner and evening together on that day. And we at the Varsity have laid on a couple of lovely menus for you to indulge upon on Valentine’s Day.

Yet often Valentine’s doesn’t land on the best day of the week for a couple to enjoy a night out. So it often expands to cover the nearest weekend as well. And this year we’re spoiled for choice, since Valentine’s arrives on a Wednesday. Meaning that the weekend before or after is fair game – a veritable mini season of love.


Valentine’s Around the World

In Britain, Valentine’s Day consists of three separate but interlinked traditions. The first is that of professing your love to someone that you just haven’t worked up the nerve to tell yet – an excuse to take the plunge. The second is a celebration of that love, often as a dinner date. And the third, unfortunate side is a spate of breakups approaching the date when couples realise that this just isn’t working out.

But the world’s a big place and it’s not always like that. Many countries have similar traditions but on completely different dates of the year. Others expand the definition of love away from the purely romantic, making it also a celebration of close friends and family. But to the perennially suffering Englishman, it is the Japanese Valentine’s traditions which seem most peculiar yet interesting.

In England, the man in a conventional relationship is expected to be the primary gift-giver. In Japan, it is the woman. And there’s only one gift appropriate to the occasion – lots and lots of chocolate! No fancy dinners or perfect dates, just chocolate. Yet it isn’t all sunshine and roses for the men, since one month later comes White Day, when it is the man’s turn to reciprocate. And how much he gives in return can be seen as anything from an affirmation of love to a notice that he wishes to end the relationship.

So, while refreshing, perhaps this minefield of cultural ambiguities is best avoided for the uninitiated. And we at the Varsity Hotel are here to support you in the more conventional traditions of Valentine’s Day.