He loves me, he loves me not: 10 Valentine’s Day superstitions you never knew

It’s the most romantic day of the year, when millions of people gift romantic cards, flowers and chocolates to their loved ones.

 If you’re at all superstitious, however, there are some Valentine’s Day rituals you might wish to follow this 14th February, especially if you’re still waiting for ‘the one’ to sweep you off your feet.

From twisting apple stems and symbolic birdwatching (hint: its a goldfinch you want to spot), to reading into the colour of your roses and steering well clear of squirrels, here are some of our favourite Valentine’s Day superstitions, many from years gone by:

Early bird

Take good notice of the first bird you see on Valentine’s Day, as it may just offer a hint about your future other half – a type of magic known as ornithomancy. 

Spot a sparrow and you’ll marry someone poor; see a goldfinch and you’ll hit the jackpot with a millionaire. A robin flying in the sky suggests you’ll end up with a sailor, a blackbird means you’ll marry a clergyman, and a flock of doves promises a long and happy marriage. Stumble upon an owl or woodpecker first thing in the morning, however, and you’re destined to stay single.

Ghostly goings-on

Hallowe’en and Valentine’s Day join forces for this superstitious tradition of old, which saw the gutsiest of girls head to their local graveyard at midnight on 13th February. There, they would run around the church 12 times, chanting a prescribed poem, with the hope of conjuring a ghostly vision of the man they would go on to marry. 

Roses are red…

If your partner presents you with a big bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day, take note of their colour. Red roses symbolise eternal love and passion in the language of flowers, while pink roses signify admiration and appreciation – perfect for the earlier days of a relationship. 

Yellow roses reflect friendship and happiness, orange roses suggest desire and enthusiasm, and lilac roses represent enchantment and love at first sight. White roses are often sent to convey sympathy and peace, but they can also symbolise love. 

If your partner has a penchant for all things gothic, you’ll even find some black roses in our collection; these may be linked to death and revenge, but they can also symbolise obsession and deep connection.

The apple of your eye

Start reciting the names of potential spouses while twisting the stem of an apple. The name it snaps upon will be that of the person you’ll marry. If you need more life spoilers, cut the apple in half and count its seeds to find out how many children you’ll have.

Herbs before bed…or an egg?

Folklore once had it that if a girl placed a a sprig of fragrant rosemary under her pillow, she would see the man she would later marry in her dreams. Five bay leaves – one pinned to each corner and the fifth in the middle – was thought to have a similarly prophetic effect.

In the 18th century, it was said that eating an egg on Valentine’s Day eve would ensure that whoever you dreamt of that night would walk you down the aisle within the coming year. For this to be effective, you had to boil the egg, take out the yolk, fill the hole with salt and eat it all up, including the shell. Oh and you then had to stay silent until morning. Unless you’re in a hurry, we suggest plumping for the herbs.

‘From your secret admirer…’

The Victorians considered it bad luck to sign your name in a Valentine’s Day card. Instead, they would mysteriously sign their love letters ‘XOXO’, but ‘from your secret admirer’ is another popular alternative. 

Should you receive an unsigned card and find yourself fervently hoping it came from your crush, jot their name and yours on a slip of paper, place it under your pillow and recite the following poem before you go to sleep: “If he who sent this Valentine, is named above with mine; I pray, good saint, that by this line, I may his name divine.”

Dawn delights

If you prefer to wake up early than go to bed late, skip the midnight cemetery trip mentioned above and position yourself by the window before sunrise on Valentine’s Day. Wait patiently, because the first man who passes by will look just like your future husband, and might even be the one! 

If you live somewhere rural and the chances of a fine suitor strolling past your house are slim, try counting how many animals you see at first light. This will tell you how many years it will be until you marry.

Double your luck

The humble four-leaf clover has long represented good luck, but finding one in your shoe on Valentine’s Day morning took the meaning of fortune to an even higher level. Single ladies who did so were destined to be led to the love of their life that day – either their soulmate or a man or shared his name.

Out of the woods

If you have a taste for the finer things in life, try your best not to come across a squirrel on Valentine’s Day. Though sweet, they symbolise marriage to a cheapskate. Cheapskates don’t buy luxury flowers for their partners, so we’ll be avoiding any nearby woodland to be safe.

Heart on his sleeve

The saying ‘to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve’ comes from a medieval Valentine’s Day ritual that saw the names of local spinsters dropped into a hat for a romantic raffle. Each of the town’s bachelors would then pick a name, pin it to his sleeve for a week and take that lady as his valentine. Many couples became husband and wife seven days later!

Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like red roses, but you’ll find a beautiful bouquet for all tastes in our stunning new range. Secure your place in their good books and shop our Valentine’s Day flowers today.

Use discount code FDGIFT20 for 20% off all full priced bouquets at Appleyard London. Excludes delivery charges & add-on gifts, subscriptions, hampers, and alcohol