Valentine’s Day: Different traditions around the world
We all celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14 as the day of love. Of course, it’s celebrated in honour of Saint Valentine but do you know a few strange and different traditions related to this day around the world. Let’s find out…
- Argentinians don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, but “the week of sweetness” in July. It’s the day when lovers exchange kisses and receive chocolates and other sweets.
- It is believed that the first-ever Valentine’s Day card originated in France, when Charles, the Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife from the prison in 1415. And the French village called “Valentine” turns into the epicenter of romance between 12th and 14th February.
- Denmark started celebrating Valentine’s Day only in the 1990s. Rather than roses, friends and sweethearts exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops.
- In Wales, Welsh don’t celebrate Saint Valentine — instead, people in Wales celebrate Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, on January 25th. One traditional romantic Welsh gift is a love spoon.
- China too doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in its entirety. The equivalent to Valentine’s Day in China is Qixi, or the Seventh Night Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year. During Qixi, young women prepare offerings of melon and other fruits to Zhinu in hopes of finding a good husband. Couples also head to temples to pray for happiness and prosperity.
- On the eve on Valentine’s Day, women in England used to place five bay leaves on their pillows — one at each corner and one in the center — to bring dreams of their future husbands. Alternatively, they would wet bay leaves with rosewater and place them across their pillows.
- Italy, with its beautiful architecture and natural glow, celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival. The young and amorous gathered outside in gardens and such to enjoy poetry readings and music before taking a stroll with their beloved.
- In South Korea, instead of men it’s the women who give chocolate to the men in their lives. A month later, on White Day, men return the favour by giving candy to their beloved. But that’s not the end of it—single friends sometimes get together on Black Day on April 14 to eat black noodles.
- In Slovenia, where St Valentine is one of the patron saints of spring, February 14 marks the first day of working in the fields for the New Year. It’s believed that this is the day that plants start to regenerate.