10 Feb 8 Extraordinary Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World

Josh D. describes how love is being celebrated by different countries on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day has become a popular celebration in many parts of the world. Considered to be the most romantic day of the year, it is celebrated by giving flowers, exchanging gift cards, dining together or even watching Netflix. Let’s find out how other countries celebrate 14th of February a.k.a Valentine’s Day with their own unique ways:

1. China

On Valentine’s Day, Chinese couples visit the Temple of Matchmaker to pray for love, happiness and hope for future marriage. Single people too, pay a visit to the temple on the day and ask for their luck in love.

2. Japan

Usually, it is Japanese women who celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving presents to their lovers or any men close to them. After a month, men return the favor on White Day (March 14).

3. South Korea

Similar to the practices in Japan, women in South Korea gift their partners chocolates on Valentine’s Day. However, the single people who did not receive anything on Valentine’s or on White Day meet at restaurants and dine in for ‘jajangmyeon’ (Korean noodles) to mourn their ‘single life.’

4. Denmark & Norway

Men compose funny little poems or rhyming love notes called “gaekkebrev” to women anonymously on Valentine’s Day. They sign the cards off with dots instead of their names, leaving the recipient to guess who the card was from.

5. Slovenia

February 14 marks the first work day of farming for the Slovenes. They believe that the birds of the fields propose to their loved ones and get married that same day. It isn’t until March 12 or Saint Gregory’s Day that Slovenes observe Valentine’s Day.

6. Philippines

Hundreds of Filipino couples get married all at the same time on Valentine’s Day. Having been a popular tradition in the Philippines, “Kasalang Bayan” or mass wedding ceremonies need huge open spaces to accommodate the grooms and brides in one public ceremony.

7. South Africa

On Valentine’s Day, it has become a practice for women in South Africa to pin the names of their partners on their shirtsleeves.  This tradition goes back to ancient Rome’s pastoral festival called “Lupercalia” celebrated from February 13 to 15.

8. Finland

Unlike other countries where people usually consider 14th February as a day of romance, Finland celebrates friendship on Valentine’s Day. They call Valentine’s Day “Ystävänpäivä“, which means “Friend’s Day”, where people are expected to send cards and gifts to their close friends.

More than a celebration of love, Valentine’s Day is a time for discovering interesting traditions that are deeply rooted to unique cultures. Whether it be eating Korean noodles or sending cards anonymously, it is up to you how to make your Valentine’s Day extraordinary.

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