Couples will be forced to sit apart after group of singles work together to buy up tickets to romantic movie at Shanghai cinema

Romantics in Shanghai will have to forget dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day. Chinese pranksters have reserved all of the odd-numbered seats at a cinema’s primetime screening, forcing couples to sit apart. Read more

Valentine’s Day disasters: ‘I bought her a pager. It was the creepiest Valentine’s present in history’

It’s Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than sharing your excruciating memories of the least romantic day of the year. Or so say, Guardian writers

Pattaya, Thailand: couples kiss during a competition for the world’s longest continuous kiss in the hope of breaking the Guinness world record, and to receive prizes totalling more than 200,000 Thai baht (£4,300) and a diamond ring

Photograph: Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images

Feline lonely? Still looking for the purrfect partner? It’s not too late to spend Valentine’s Day cuddled up on the sofa with your ideal companion. This Thursday, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home will be holding a one-off late night opening, where Battersea’s top matchmakers will be pairing up cats-in-need with owners-to-be. This one’s called Laura.

Photograph: PR

New couples ride to the central square of Shenmu, in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. A total of 22 new couples in the county participated in the group wedding on this morning, the Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine’s Day. Photograph: Han Chuanhao/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Ventanilla, Peru: Couples get married in a pool on Valentine’s Day Photograph: Martin Mejia/AP

Links roundup: Valentine’s Day on the Guardian

"Love is an ecosystem. You can’t neglect it, exploit it, strip-mine it, pollute it, and wonder what happened to the birds and the bees.

"It’s time to re-think love."

Jeanette Winterson writes on re-claiming love on Valentine’s Day.

But of course that’s not all we’ve got for this global celebration of all things mushy and romantic - here’s a roundup of what’s on our site so far today in honour Saint Valentine:

“Last summer I ventured into Cif belief and noticed a commenter there that had the same views as my own. She was full of confidence as she posted. Naturally, I would look out for her posts as I did with other commenters I came to respect over the following months, catching glimpses of her personality as she debated the topic at hand.”

“Today – and the day after and the day after that – remind yourself, and your partner, of all the good and extraordinary and lovable things about them.”

Some choice Valentine’s Day candy:

(and if you don’t want to see all this romantic stuff - just turn off the button:

Valentine’s Day can be traced back to ancient pagan traditions, but the celebration as we know it today really took off in the Victorian era. This advert from February 1853 is for Hyam’s tailors, in Manchester. Guardian Archive looks back at Valentine’s Day through the decades as seen in Guardian print. Photograph: Guardian
“I ❤ romance. When I was about 17, I cycled 10 miles across London at 3am to declare my undying love to a girl I fancied but who didn’t fancy me. A modern-day recreation of the balcony scene in Romeo & Juliet would surely – I reasoned – win her round. Sure, it was way creepy. Sure, she lived in a basement. And, sure, it turned out she was with another boy. But I’m a die-hard romantic, and you will have to rip my heart out before I renounce such gestures.”
Patrick Kingsley on his top romantic moments. G2 are looking for more…

Aquarists Kathryn O’Connor and James Oliver take part in a blessing on Valentine’s Day in the ocean reef display in the London Aquarium. The couple, dressed in wedding finery and breathing apparatus, received their blessing surrounded by giant green sea turtles, cownose rays and shoals of colourful fish.

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

- See more pictures of how people around the world are celebrating Valentine’s Day on