You should know about some interesting Valentine traditions around the world. These are just a few of them.
Every year on February 14th, couples from all over the world go out to celebrate the feast of St Valentine’s, commonly known as Valentine’s Day.
The celebrations originated from an ancient Roman tradition called Lupercalia, where young men stripped naked and ran mildly to boost their fertility around spanking young maidens.
Once Christianity became the Roman Empire’s official religion, this feast was absorbed into the Christian tradition, turning it into the feast of Saint Valentine, renowned for performing forbidden marriages. Saint Valentine was assassinated on February 14 for his digression, and on this day, darlings around the world are celebrating Saint Valentine.
People typically go out to celebrate their loved ones with presents of flowers, chocolates, teddy bears and others just to show their love and happiness. Nevertheless, several unique rituals are carried out in observance of the festive day in other parts of the world.
Here are a few of them!
Valentine’s is reserved for women to give gifts to men in Japan. These gifts are mostly chocolate and are of different types: giri choco (force chocolate), for friends and colleagues, and honmei choco (true chocolate feeling) when it’s a romantic relationship. Men, on the other hand, must give gifts ranging from white chocolates to cookies, sweets or jewelry. The only difference is that a month after a day called White Day, men give their gifts. This tradition is common practice in Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan as well.
Throughout the world, cards with sweet messages are sent to loved ones, but the Danes have an odd tradition that dates back to the 18th century. Hidden admirers will send joke letters (gaekkebrev) to their crushes, usually in the form of a paper snowflake featuring a poem. The sender signs their name in dots and must give the receiver an Easter egg if he or she is able to guess their identity.
The Filipinos go an extra mile when the focus of the day is the exchange of gifts. They have to go as far as to get married to prove their love. Hundreds of couples attend mass wedding ceremonies sponsored by the local government. This unique act benefits couples who can’t afford to get married as wedding cakes, flowers and rings are funded by the government.
As in many other parts of the world, South Africans celebrate Valentine’s Day with roses and other tokens of devotion. It’s also popular for South African women to pin the names of their love interest on their shirt sleeves, continuing how it was originally done with Lupercalia. Imagine this happening in Nigeria and multiple people having the name of one person?!
A popular Italian Valentine’s Day tradition has been that young single girls should wake up before dawn to see their future husbands. The idea was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the one she would marry in a year’s time. Or at least he would have a strong resemblance to the man she’d marry.
Which is the most interesting of these traditions?