In France, Valentine’s Day, known as “la Saint-Valentin” or “la fête des amoureux”, falls on the 14th of February —just like in the rest of the world—, and is all about love and lovers!
According to this study, one in two French people in a relationship says celebrate Valentine’s Day in one way or another. And this celebration is even more popular among young people: 60% of those under 35 admit to celebrating Valentine’s Day.
If some of them consider Valentine’s Day as a commercial affair —even if I don’t think the French Valentine’s Day is as big as it is in the United States—, it’s a great way for couples and lovers to express their love for each other and to do something that changes from daily routine.
10 Gifts to Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day
This Valentine’s Day, show yourself a little love and treat yourself to one of these fabulous French-inspired gifts below. You can browse and shop these gift ideas on my LTK profile here.
From top left to bottom right:
- Diptyque Rose candle 600g
- Chanel Rouge Coco Baume 918 My Rose
- Sleeper Feather-trimmed crepe de chine pajama set
- Sisley Nutritive lip balm
- Diptyque Eau Rose parfum
- Diptyque Eau Rose perfumed soap
- Hermès Les Mains Hermès nail enamel
- Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut oil body polish
- Guerlain Météorites illuminating powder pearls
- Fresh Rose & Hyaluronic Acid deep hydration toner
How to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in French
You can simply say “Joyeuse Saint-Valentin”. However, you only say that to your significant other. Indeed, Valentine’s Day in France is just for people in love and only couples celebrate la Saint-Valentin. Children do not give gifts or cards to their parents, friends, or teachers and parents do not give cards or gifts to their kids.
Some French love vocabulary to inspire you:
- Joyeuse Saint Valentin – Happy Valentine’s day
- L’amour – love
- Je t’aime – I love you
- Veux-tu m’épouser? – Will you marry me?
- Tomber Amoureux / amoureuse – to fall in love
- Embrasser, s’embrasser – to kiss
- Un bisou – a kiss
- Se fiancer – to get engaged
- Le mariage – marriage
- Un amoureux / une amoureuse – a sweetheart
- Un petit-ami – a boyfriend
- Une petite-amie – a girlfriend
- Mon chéri, ma chérie, mon amour, mon coeur – my love
French Valentine’s Day Traditions
Card-giving for any occasion is rare in France and Valentine’s Day is no exception. The French do not send cards for Valentine’s Day but instead, they prefer to celebrate it in person by setting romantic evenings for their significant other.
According to this research, among the French who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 60% plan to go to a restaurant, 21% plan to cook at home, and 14% to go for a drink. In France, restaurants usually create a special menu or some form of a romantic special offer on the 14th.
To have a romantic dinner in one of the best restaurants in France on Valentine’s Day, a reservation is generally required (and well in advance). Also, Parisians have even more options for celebrating this holiday: some Paris restaurants, bars, parks, and cabarets host special events to mark the occasion.
Valentine’s Day Gifts in France
Couples and lovers express their love for each other by giving small presents, booking a romantic meal, or even a weekend away. According to this study, when the French are asked about the gifts they plan to give to their partner on Valentine’s Day, flowers (22%), perfume (16%), and jewelry (13%) are the top 3.
In France, flowers are a very popular gift for Valentine’s Day! French florists turnover what they would usually make in a week on that day. Roses (red, rose, or white) represent 80% of the flowers offered on Valentine’s Day but other flowers like lilies, peonies, or tulips, symbols of love, passion, or loyalty are offered on this day too.
Here are the most popular gifts French people give for Valentine’s Day:
- Perfumes —see the most iconic French perfumes of all time
- Jewelry —see affordable French jewelry brands & french luxury jewelry brands
- Lingeries —see the chicest French lingerie brands
Disclaimer: I independently select all products featured on Leonce Chenal. If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products I genuinely love.
Bonjour and bienvenue (welcome) to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. My name is Leonce, and I’m originally from Annecy, France. I created Leonce Chenal to share my love for France and the French art de vivre (the art of living) with you. I genuinely hope my enthusiasm for this beautiful country encourages you to experience its wonders for yourself. Merci for visiting. Bien à vous, Leonce.