It’s almost Valentine’s Day, where did the first half of February go? However, the most wonderful day for couples is coming up. The town will literally be painted red as gentlemen carry bouquets of red roses for their special someone. Most stores are brimming with heart-shaped red balloons, candies, and chocolates. Huge stuffed toys are now facing the window, looking at you with their huge doe eyes, asking you to take them in.
While these are the usual stuff that people do to impress their significant other and make them feel special during Valentine’s, it’s not the norm for every country, believe it or not. Every country has their own traditions, from Christmas, New Year, even down to Valentine’s Day. Here are some of the most interesting Valentine’s Day traditions from different countries all over the world.
Denmark and Norway
Valentine’s Day wasn’t even celebrated in Denmark and Norway until the early 1990s. Although that was the case, the Danish people still found a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a different and exciting twist. Gaekkebrev is what they call it, wherein men give quirky and funny love notes and poems to the women that they adore. The sender will give a clue, and if the receiver guessed it right, then she will receive an Easter egg in the coming Easter.
In Wales, Valentine’s Day is not celebrated on the 14th of February. They also have a different name for it – “St. Swynwen’s Day”, which is celebrated annually on the 25th of January. The Welsh men do not give flowers, chocolates, or candies to their special someone, instead, they give spoons. The men would carve the spoons intricately, decorate them with symbols and patterns that signifies their love, and present them as a proposal gift to the women that they would like to court or even marry. This tradition is still celebrated up to this day.
In other parts of the world, men are the ones who usually pamper their women. However, this is not the case in Japan. Every 14th of February, women usually give men chocolates. This tradition dates back to 1936, and is still celebrated up to this day. This gesture can also be done for female friends. Men return the favor on March 14th though, during White Day, where they give women chocolates, lingerie, jewellery, or clothing.
In Italy, young and unmarried girls usually go outside before dawn to look for their future husbands outside. It is believed that the first guy the girl sees outside is the man that they will marry within that year. If it’s not him, then he will, at least, strongly resemble the man that the girl will marry. Young girls also used to gather in the gardens to enjoy poetry readings and music, which will be followed by a stroll along with their loved ones.
English women usually celebrated Valentine’s Day by placing five bay leaves on their pillows. They believe that by doing so, they will dream about their future husbands. Sometimes, women would even wet their bay leaves with rose water and place them across their pillows.
It’s wonderful how diverse every country in the world is. People celebrate each tradition differently, and it’s just amazing how a single day can alter the way we treat each other. If you’re planning on taking your special someone to one of the countries mentioned above, then we’ve got a hot tip for you: bring your car to the airport and get an airport parking instead of taking a cab. Not only will this save you a lot of money, it won’t cause any hassle to you and your loved one as well. Happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy your day, lovers!