Valentine’s Day Around the World

With Valentine’s Day approaching we are making plans with our boyfriend or girlfriend and buying sweet, romantic gifts, but have you ever wondered how this day is celebrated around the world? Well, I did some digging and brought you back the dirt on how this holiday is celebrated in other parts of the world. It’s quite interesting.

Malaysia:

This is one of my favorite and think it is quite funny. For this holiday, women will take oranges, as in the fruit, and write their name and number on them before throwing them into the nearest river hoping that their prince charming will pick up their orange. Fruit vendors will actually pick up the fruit and sell them, they consider them to be good luck! So, who knows who can end up with the orange. Pretty fun!

Brazilian:

For those living in Brazil, it is called Dia dos Namorados (Day of Lovers). Valentine’s Day eve is when women will write their various crush’s name on folded up pieces of paper. Whichever name they pick from the pile the next day will be the one they marry, or at least date. In other South and Central American countries, Valentine’s Day is actually called Dia del Amor y la Amistad (Day of love and friendship). I lived in El Salvador for four years and those of us who were single were not sad when Valentine’s Day came around. It was a fun time to plan a dinner and movie with your friends to celebrate your friendship and did not just focus on couples. One thing they do is what you can call “secret cupid”. It is the same as “secret santa” and you place your friends names in a hat or bowl and however you pick you would get a gift for. It was a lot of fun.

South Korea:

Now South Korea has a pretty interesting tradition. They do not only celebrate February 14, but rather the 14 of pretty much every month. For example, May 14 is Rose Day, October 14 is wine day, and December 14 is hug day. On February 14, the women will actually give men chocolates, those lucky men, but on March 14 the men give candy, not chocolate, to women. Well at least we get candy. Finally, this is my favorite part, those who did not receive anything on either day come together on April 14 and eat black bean noodles and lament their singleness. Kind of morbid, but at least they have each other and at least there is food, right?

Denmark:

It is custom in Denmark for people to send pressed white flowers called snowdrops to their friends, how sweet! So, if you have friends that you want to celebrate on Valentine’s day, snowdrop flowers are the way to go! Danish men can also send a Valentine called the gaekkebrev. The sender of this gaekkebrev will write a rhyme, but will not sign his name! Instead he will sign his name in dots, yes dots. As in ….. and each dot stands for a letter of his name. If the girl who receives the card guesses his name, then she is rewarded with an Easter Egg later on in the year. Wait what? Who knew Valentine’s day and Easter went together. Pretty cool!

Well, those are a few ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world. Who knew right? I hope that all of you out there have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and if you are not currently in a relationship, why not use some of the example above and celebrate friendship? Plan a get together with your friends and have a blast! Happy Valentine’s Day!

~ Kat

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