Different Valentine’s Day Traditions Around The World

St. Valentine’s legend is steeped in mystery.  Valentine was a priest who served in Rome in around 3rd century, according to legend. When Emperor Claudius II thought that single men made better soldiers than families, he declared marriage illegal. Valentine continued to perform weddings in secret, prompting Claudius to order his execution. According to some accounts, Valentine was assassinated for attempting to help Christians escape from Roman imprisonment.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, regardless of its roots. While February 14 is a day of chocolates, Valentine gifts for fiance, greeting cards, and romantic dinners in some parts, other parts of the world commemorate St. Valentine in their unique ways.

Germany- Exchange Pigs 

​​Not actual ones, perhaps just small souvenirs and cartoons. Pigs are a lucky symbol in Germany, and they’re just as ubiquitous in Valentine’s Day displays as cupids are in the States.

Japan- Affection With Chocolates 

In Japan, it’s the ladies that lavish chocolates on the object of their devotion, but it’s the quality of chocolate that matters. High quality/very extremely tasty honmei-choco chocolates are hands presented to husbands, lovers, or prospective partners, while giri-choco chocolates are delivered to colleagues or acquaintances. If you’re unlucky, you might even get a box of Cho-giri choco, which is ultra-obligation chocolate intended for the most hated male coworkers. On March 14, those who received honmei-choco are expected to repay the sweet favor by giving their loved ones gifts worth two to three times the chocolates they received, such as jewelry or designer undergarments.

France- The Banned Tradition

The first Valentine’s Day card is supposed to have started in France in 1415, when Charles, Duke of Orleans, was imprisoned in London and wrote love letters to his wife. Valentines Day gifts and cards are still popular practice in France and around the world today. The loterie d’amour, or “love drawing,” was another traditional Valentine’s Day celebration in France.  Men who were dissatisfied with their match could easily leave her for another, and the ladies who were left unpaired gathered for a bonfire afterward. During the burning, women burnt images of the males who had harmed them and hurled insults and curses at the opposite sex. The event went so out of hand that the French authorities eventually banned it entirely.

Spain- Offer Mocadora 

Valencians celebrate the most romantic day of the year on October 9, the Day of Saint Dianysius, the patron saint of love. Many festivals and parades are held to commemorate this joyous event, and men usually present their partner with a Mocadora — marzipan figures – as a tribute of their love.

Denmark- Anonymous Poems 

Snowdrops are a popular floral choice for Valentine’s Day in Denmark instead of red roses.  Danish males will occasionally give ladies amusing poetry known as gaekkebrev, which are signed anonymously with a series of dots. If the recipient correctly guesses who delivered the letter, he will reward her with an Easter egg later in the year.

Argentina- A Week Celebration 

In Argentina, the country of Tango, one Day isn’t enough to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Argentina celebrates the occasion for a week.  In addition to February 14, they set aside seven days in July for “sweetness week.”. Lovers and friends will share candies and kisses from the 13th to the 20th. This week usually concludes with “Friendship Day.”

Wales- Gift Handcrafted Engraved Spoons 

The romantic holiday is devoted to Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and is observed on January 25 in Wales.  Couples mark the occasion by giving hand-carved wooden spoons with special patterns and motifs. A horseshoe, for example, represents good luck, whereas a Celtic knot represents everlasting love. The unique custom dates back to the early 17th century when Welsh men demonstrated their devotion to the women they adored by giving them finely carved spoons. The utensils are also famous for other occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, and new births.

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