Do Jews celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is there a Jewish holiday similar to Valentine's Day?
The origins of Valentine’s Day are linked to a saint, though, the connections are dubious and even the Catholic Church has removed Valentine's Day from the church calendar. Some would say there is no reason why Jews cannot celebrate Valentine's Day, though others might argue that as a holiday rooted in Christian tradition it would seem a bit peculiar. In making your decision it is important to know that over the years, rabbinic opinion from all streams of Judaism have been inclined to allow for the celebration of secular holidays that do not go against specific Jewish thought. Judaism certainly believes it is always wonderful to be able to celebrate love – whether of a spouse, child, relative, or good friend.
A little-known holiday is Tu B'Av (the fifteenth of Av – which falls mid to late summer). Following the reflective nature of Tishah B'Av and preceding Elul, a month of preparation for the High Holidays, Tu B'Av is a day marked by dancing and courtship. Ancient traditions note that on this day, young women, dressed in white, went out into the fields to dance and were followed by young men.
- Cause for Celebration in Israel: Tu B'Av, the Jewish Festival of Love
- Why Does "The Jewish Valentine's Day" Matter?
- What is Love? A Jewish Look at Giving and Receiving