How do people celebrate Valentine’s Day? If you thought that everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day the same way as you do (chocolates and a gift, for instance), you are wrong. Keep reading to find out 10 Valentine’s Day traditions compiled by LANGRIA that will make you laugh, wow, and awww.
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Germany
Valentine’s Day is very popular in this country. Yet, they have less of a commercial celebration, instead, their Valentine’s Day traditions include pigs. Yes, you read it right, not pink, pigs! In Germany the pig represents luck and lust, thus, it is very common to give and receive pigs as miniature figurines, in chocolate shape, in love postcards, pictures, and also in the shape of ginger cookies. Because while in some countries like the US, chocolate is the preferred choice for Valentine’s Day, in Germany the tradition says differently. German people love to bake ginger cookies in heart-shapes and pig-shapes where they write loving messages in icing.
Psst… want to say I love you to your sweetheart in German? You can write “Ich liebe dich”
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… South Korea
Valentine’s Day in South Korea is more like Valentine’s February-till-April Month. The Valentine’s Day traditions in South Korea start on February 14th. During this day, women shower their loved ones with candies, chocolates, and flowers. Then, on March 14th, also known as “White Day”, men take the lead and woo their women with chocolate, flowers, and a gift.
But what about those who don’t have anyone to celebrate love with during Valentine’s Day or White Day? Well, the South Korean Valentine’s Day tradition also count them in. Single people have their own special day, April 14th, known as the “Black Day”. This day, single people don’t eat chocolate or candies. Instead, they have to mourn their single status by eating jajangmyeon, black bean-paste noodles. What do you think of South Korea 3-month Valentine’s Day traditions?
Send some love in Korean saying사랑해 /salanghae/
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Japan
Let’s stay in Asia for the next Valentine’s day tradition. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with chocolates! While it seems very normal, as in other countries around the world, Japan changes the rules a little bit in terms of giving the chocolate. For instance, women give Giri Choco to male friends, classmates, workmates, and even their bosses. Giri Choco is chocolate that has to romantic meaning, it is more of a mandatory thing that women do on February 14th. But, what if they want to shower their sweetheart? In that case, women will give Honmei Choco, which is more expensive chocolate and on many occasions, homemade. But that’s not it, men also take part in the Valentine’s Day traditions. In March 14th, the White Day, men who received the Honmei Choco are expected to return the gift to women with chocolate too (and some gifts). Isn’t this the sweetest Valentine’s Day?
Wanna say I love you in Japanese? You can write 愛しています /aishite imasu/
via Select Citiwalk
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Argentina
For the next Valentine’s Day traditions around the world, we are traveling all the way to South America, more specifically, to Argentina. In Argentina, Valentine’s Day is seen for more than 50% of the population as a marketing day that comes from the USA and some European countries. While some people celebrate it giving their lovers a treat (chocolates, eating out, gifts, etc.), it is not a day as important to them as for July 20th. July 20th is El día del Amigo (Friendship’s Day) and it is when Argentinians really go out for it to celebrate friends and friendship. This date was chosen also to commemorate the day when the first human step on the moon on July 20th, 1969. What do you think of this Valentine’s Day traditions to give more importance to friendship love instead?
Say I love you with the passion of an Argentinian! Te quiero!
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Brazil
Moving on to our next Valentine’s Day traditions list, we land in the neighboring country, Brazil. In Brazil, they also swap Valentine’s Day for St. Anthony. St. Anthony is the patron of marriage and matchmaking, thus, it makes sense that Brazilians opt to celebrate this day, on June 12th, Dia Dos Namorados (Lover’s Day). The tradition says that on June 11th, single women should write men’s names of pieces of paper and fold them. On June 12th, in the morning, they should pick one of those folded pieces of paper to find out who their future husbands will be. Besides this tradition, Brazilians also celebrate love by exchanging gifts or eating out.
Say I love you in Portuguese: Eu te amo!
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Wales
So far we have read a bunch of Valentine’s Day traditions that include chocolate and sweets, but what if we tell you that in Wales your loved one would give you a wooden spoon? Yes, Welsh people celebrate love on January 25th, St. Dwynwen, the saint of lovers. During this day men present wooden love spoons to their sweethearts as a symbol of love. This Valentine’s Day tradition goes back to the 16th century when sailors used to hand-carved wooden spoons for their loved ones while they were at sea. The spoons have different symbols and details, and each of them has different meanings. For instance, horseshoes (luck), wheels (support), keys (the keys to the man’s heart).
Do you want a handmade carved spoon this Valentine’s? Try to say a Welsh man “Rwy’n dy garu di” (I love you)
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… China
In China, the Valentine’s Day traditions are slightly different too. Nowadays more and more people celebrate the Loveday on February 14th, but Chinese people have their own Loveday, known as Qixi Festival (七夕节). The Qixi festival is an old tradition dating since the Han Dynasty (BCE 206 – AD 220) and is celebrated the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. There’s a reason behind this date. The Qixi festival, also known as Qiqiao, celebrates the story of 2 star-crossed lovers: the daughter of a King and a cowherd, who are forced apart and only can get together once a year, that’s right, on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar. According to our calendar, this year the Qixi Festival falls on August 7th. During this time, Chinese couples will go to temples to pray for prosperity, in other regions friends gather together to make dumplings together, and many other celebrations.
Oh! And by the way, if you want to tell I love you to your partner it Chinese, try to pronounce /Wo Ai Ni/ or write: 我爱你
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… France
France, the country of love currently celebrates Valentine’s Day in a very generic way (love letters, gifts, etc.). However, there was a time when French people had their own love lottery (not that romantic for the country of love, right?). Let us explain the eerie Valentine’s Day traditions of France. The lottery name “la lotterie d’amour” occurred long ago. During this custom, single men and women will get together in houses. Men supposedly yell across the window to the house of the single women to pair off with each other. By the end of the day, the single women who were rejected or not picked by their male counterpart will gather together to build a bonfire and burn images of those men who didn’t choose them while hurling curses at them. Of course, this practice ended up banned by the French government after becoming an uncontrollable event. What about that! This has to be one of the craziest Valentine’s Day traditions in history!
In recent years there was another Valentine’s Day tradition in Paris. Lovers would go to the Pont des Arts to put “love locks” on the railing of the bridge to signify eternal love. However, after millions of locks fastened with a total weight of more than 45 tons, authorities decided on removing them due to safety reasons. Seems like the eternal love of those love locks wasn’t eternal afterall…
But hey, Paris is still the city of love. Tell your sweetheart “Je t’aime” the way French people do!
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… Denmark
Let’s stay in Europe for the next tradition of our list of Valentine’s Day traditions around the globe. Denmark says that Valentine’s Day is a relatively new holiday that has been celebrated since the early 90s. But Danish people have added a twist to the tradition of men giving roses to their loving partners. In Denmark, people exchange love cards with pressed snowdrops, a pretty white flower. There’s another tradition in Denmark, the gaekkebrev. Men give women this gaekkebrev, funny poems that are given anonymously to the women. Instead of the signed name, the poem is signed with a series of dots. If the woman who receives the poem can guess who the sender is, the sender has to give her an Easter egg later in the year.
I love the gaekkebrev idea, but if you cannot write a full funny poem in Danish, don’t worry, you can start with a simple yet profound “Jeg elsker dig” (I love you)
Valentine’s Day Traditions in… The Philippines
Last but not least in this list of the most original, fun, and shocking Valentine’s Day traditions we have The Philippines! The Philippines have some of the most romantic spots in the world with beaches and blue waters to die for. It is a very popular destination for honeymooners too. So, it doesn’t come to our surprise that they celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different way. In terms of men and women giving their sweethearts gifts, they woo them in similar ways with chocolate, gifts or flowers. However, and for the last years, a special tradition has swept the country: mass wedding ceremonies. It is very normal for thousands of couples to share the same wedding day, February 14th. Loving couples gather together in shopping malls and other public areas to get married or renew their vows. These mass events are sponsored by the government for this Loveday.
How do you feel about weddings en masse? Do you think is romantic? If you also want to get married this way, you should better get started by learning how to say I love you in one of the 120 to 187 languages and dialects that are spoken in The Philippines… You can say Mahal kita, or I love you as the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and English.
Did you enjoy these Valentine’s Day traditions around the world? Which one is your favorite? If you know about other traditions, please share them with us in the comment section below and enjoy a great day of Love this 2019!