Happy Hearts All Over the World: Valentine Traditions That You Need to Know
While some people consider it a pagan holiday, Valentine’s is still celebrated by many because it is a festival of love; a day of remembering who makes your heart beat–and appreciating them for it.
That said, did you know that some countries have unique ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day? Well, read on and learn more about how the Day of Hearts is celebrated all around the world!
In Denmark, it is a tradition to send pressed flowers, also known as Snowdrops, to one’s friends to show appreciation for their friendship during the past year.
Sending secret letters is also customary for men. The letters, also known as Goekkebrev, are sent to the women they fancy–without signing them to create a sense of mystery. If the receiver guesses who sent her the card, she’ll then receive an Easter egg on Easter Sunday!
In Finland, Valentine’s Day is not just all about love, but is mostly a celebration of friendship. Gifts and cards are exchanged, and some people also choose to get engaged or get married to get St. Valentine’s blessings!
On Valentine’s Day in Ghana, chocolates abound because the day is also known as National Chocolate Day. This is because Ghana is one of the world’s top chocolate exporters, and the occasion is good for their tourism and local businesses.
Chocolate-themed museums also open during this holiday, making sure that people from all over the world get to see and appreciate Ghana’s contributions to the chocolate industry!
Valentine’s Day is known as El Dia del Carino in Guatemala, the day when love for friends, family, and lovers is celebrated. A festival is held where people wear feathered masks and costumes inspired by the Mayan Empire while parading around the streets. Senior citizens are honored, too.
Traditionally, Valentine’s was celebrated during springtime in Italy, and people would read poems in ornamental gardens or tree arbors. Not a lot of people do this today, but Valentine’s is still a big deal in Italy, given that stores are decorated a week before February 14, and a lot of couples announce their engagements on the said day.
In Korea, women are the ones who give candies and gifts to their crushes or loved ones on Valentine’s Day! However, a month later, on March 14, it is the men’s turn to give them candies–as a sign of reciprocating love, or in some cases, of turning it down.
image source: sean-cn.org
In the Philippines,local artists hold concerts on Valentine’s Day for couples to see. Mass wedding ceremonies started to be popular throughout the country. Couples are gathered in public places to get married or renew their vows. In 2013, around 4,000 couples got married en masse on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s is fun in Scotland as there is a festival where men and women would draw out a name from a hat, and women would then pin the name of the one they picked on their shoulder–literally putting their hearts on their sleeves!
Finally, in Taiwan, the number of roses that men would give to their partners corresponds to their love for the recipient. The more, the better, and the more loved the women would feel!
See, the Day of Hearts is more than just a pagan holiday: it is a celebration of love and friendship–and a day that will let you appreciate people around you more.