It’s that time of the year yet again, when the color red dominates the city and most people roam around in a love-struck haze. Valentine’s Day may just be one of the most celebrated days of love all over the world, but the way of celebrating it surely does differ from place to place. Read on to find out more about how different countries celebrate the day of love.
Chocolates for Boys, Japan
Japanese women are essentially said to be extremely shy and conservative when it comes to expressing their love. However, on this special day, they tend to let go of their inhibitions and pamper their special someone with chocolates and gifts. Unlike most western nations, this Asian country celebrates love with gender role-reversal! Why should boys have all the fun, right?
Easter Egg reward, Scandinavia
In the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Norway, men write love letters to their crush, girlfriends or lovers. The catch however is that they do not write their names to sign off the letters, instead a dot is drawn to represent every letter in their name. It is up to the girl to find out who her secret admirer is, if successful, the man who wrote her a letter gifts her an Easter egg. However, if the woman guesses the wrong name, it is she who has to present an Easter egg to the guy.
Happy Marriage Day, Philippines
There is no hiding the fact that Valentine’s day is supposed to be auspicious for couples. Philippines, however, has taken the day to the next level. A large number of marriages take place on this day, with the government sponsoring a few in the name of ‘public service’. What’s interesting is, on this mass wedding ceremony day, hundreds of couple choose a location together and get married together.
Spoon Gifting, Wales
Wales is an age-old country with some ancient customs and traditions that are still followed by many. One of these many traditions include giving spoons as gifts to their beloved on Saint Dwynwen’s Day. This day marks the equivalent of Valentine’s for the Welsh, and is celebrated every year on the 25th of January. These traditional love spoons often had various symbols carved onto them (traditionally the spoons were wooden). Some of these symbols include, wheels and keys, meant for support and love.
We all love Asian food, and if you are lucky enough, you can experience the tradition of eating it in a different manner, provided that you are single. South Korea celebrates a love day on the 14th of every month. On Valentine’s Day, much like Japan, women give chocolates and gifts to men. However, exactly a month later ‘Black Day’ is celebrated, which may be as depressing as the color for singles. On this particular day, all singles eat what is called jajangmyeon (a type of black bean pasta noodle) to mourn their single-hood. If you are a single foodie and what to join in the tradition, then you know where to go this spring!
Burn Baby Burn, France
The most romantic country in the world is bound to celebrate the most romantic day in the world in style. Earlier Valentine’s day was considered the perfect day for marriages, so as the tale goes, men and women were matched and the men who weren’t satisfied with their match could leave the woman for another. Later, all the unmatched women would gather around a bonfire and curse the men who have wronged them. This practice was however, banned by the French government as it got pretty rowdy. Another tradition includes giving out French drawings and cards on Valentine’s day.
Nature’s Love, Slovenia
In Slovenia, the 14th of February is celebrated as a day to celebrate agriculture as it marks the beginning of spring. This day is seen as the first day to work on the fields. The day is marked as a celebration of nature, with a classic old myth that states that on this day birds propose to their lovers.
Celebrate Friendship, Finland
For most of the world, Friendship Day falls on the first Sunday of August, but for Finland it most certainly falls on Valentine’s Day. The day is celebrated with exchanging cards and gifts with your dearest friends and just basking in the glory of your friendship! This may be a more relaxed and fun option to celebrate Valentine’s Day, well at least until you get friend-zoned by your crush!
Old Vintage Traditions, England
In England, Valentine’s Day was accompanied with superstitions and other beliefs. Women were said to pin 5 Bay leaves each on either side of their pillow before going to bed, in hopes of dreaming of their future husbands! Although, none of these are practiced anymore, but we just can’t help but wonder if any of their dreams came true, pun intended.
Cherry Blossom Kisses, Czech Republic
Although Valentine’s day has become increasingly commercialized in recent years, for most locals in Czech Republicans, Valentine’s day is celebrated on the 1st of May. Since summer is blossoming at its full pace at this time, a variety of flowers and trees are seen in their full bloom during this period. Couples take advantage of this particular fact to kiss under the cherry blossom tree, which is said to bring good luck to the happy couple in the following year.