Celebrating Valentine’s Day around the world
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February in many countries around the world. Some of the most common gifts for this occasion include fresh flowers, chocolates, and jewellery. Of course, as familiar as we are with this celebration of love, many people don’t know how it all started. Initially, this day was celebrated to honour the Christian martyr, Valentine. Back then, this day was not one associated with love or romance. It was only in the 14th century that this day started changing into the traditions we know today.
In some countries like the UK and US, it’s considered customary to pamper your partner or somebody you have a crush on, with fresh flowers, sweets, and other romantic gifts. When it comes to fresh flowers, red roses are the most popular for this occasion since they are associated with romanice and love.
In Wales, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February but there is an extra celebration on the 25th of January. This is when St Dwynwen’s Day,the Welsh patron saint of lovers, is celebrated. In Finnish, the name they use for Valentine’s Day actually translates to Friendship Day which is why people in Finland often celebrate with the friends and it’s not only a romantic occasion.
There are also a number of countries where Valentine’s Day has only recently caught on. Lithuania is an example of this and the romantic celebration only began in 1990. In some of these countries, fresh flowers are a great gift but they tend to prefer other tokens of affection like placing stickers on their family and friends’ clothing and faces.
Venezuela takes Valentine’s Day to a whole new level with a full week of celebrations! There are, in fact, a number of South American countries where romantic occasions similar to Valentine’s Day are celebrated around this time of year. In Columbia, the celebrations don’t take place on the same day every year. Instead, they celebrate on the third Saturday of September and everyone has a partner. This is so that everyone can buy a gift for their partner and it’s always annonymous and everyone feels included.
In South Korea, the women give chocolates to the men on Valentine’s Day and, just one month later, on the 14th of March, the men present the women with sweets (not chocolate). On the 14th of April, if you did not receive anything for the 14th of February or the 14th of March, you are to go to a restaurant for some black noodles. This is symbol of mourning since you do not have anyone to share this romantic occasion with.