February is the month of romance, with Valentine's Day being celebrated all over the world with much fanfare. It is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or present to their partner. Couples spend the day together, exchange presents, and reaffirm their love. It is that day meant entirely for love, romance, passion, and care for your partner or crush.
But it's not the typical exchange of roses and greeting cards everywhere. In some places, couples take a walk to the forest or exchange wooden spoons known as 'love spoons', to profess love! And some countries celebrate this day of love in different dates following their unique customs and it is fascinating to see how different they are.
Here's a list of few countries which celebrate Valentine's Day in a unique way:
It is believed that the first-ever Valentine’s Day card was originated in France, when Charles, the Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife from the prison in 1415. And the French village called “Valentine” turns into the epicentre of the romance between 12-14 February. One can see the beautiful yards, trees, and homes decorated with love cards, roses, and proposals for marriage flakes. It probably is the most beautiful Valentine’s Day traditions in the world.
Japanese Valentine's day is entirely about chocolates. Women in Japan give chocolates to their man or friends. These chocolates are of two types, namely, Giri-choco and handmade Honmei-choco.
Then, after a month, Japan celebrates the White day on March 14 on which the men who got chocolates in February 2014 will return the favour by giving white-coloured treats to the women.
The men also give a 'gaekkebrev', meaning, joke letter. This letter is written on a specially created cut paper and is written as a poet, and the writer doesn't sign it, rather puts a dot for each letter of his/her name.
The woman then has to guess as to who might have given the letter. If the guess is right, the woman gets an Easter egg.
Valentine's Day in the Philippines is all about weddings. A large number of people gather at one place to say "I do". This mass wedding is organized by government officials.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated a little differently in Estonia. It is mainly a celebration of friendship between friends and family rather than romantic love. Children make cards and gifts for those who they care about and exchange gifts too.
For the people in Spain, the most romantic day of the year is on 9th October, the Day of Saint Dionysus, the patron saint of love. To mark this occasion, many festivals and parades are held. Men traditionally offer their partner a Mogadore- marzipan figurine as a token for their love.
Argentineans don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in Feb, but ‘the week of sweetness’ in July. It’s the day when lovers exchange kisses and receive chocolates and other sweets. In the country, this day actually started as a commercial invention but later became Valentine’s traditions.
8. South Korea
The romantic couples in South Korea celebrate the day of love on the 14th of each month. Yeah, you read it right! ‘the day of roses’ is celebrated in May, ‘the day of kisses’ is celebrated in June, ‘the day of hugs’ in December and single people celebrate ‘the black day’ in April by eating black noodles. It is a completely different Valentine’s Day tradition around the world.
In Ghana, Feb 14 is celebrated as the ‘National Chocolate Day’. It is a step that the Ghana government took in 2007 to increase tourism in the country. Ghana is among the largest cocoa-producing countries in the world. On Feb 14, one can attend performances, music events, and restaurants that have themed menus for the special day.
If you’re looking for some very romantic and unusual celebration of Valentine’s Day around the world, then Romanians won’t disappoint you. The day is celebrated on 24th Feb as the day when young couples get engaged. It is basically a mix of Valentine’s Day and the celebration of the spring season. Young men and women go to the forests to pick colourful flowers, while other couples wash their faces with snow as a sign of good luck.
In Slovenia, St Valentine is one of the patron saints of spring. It is believed that on February 14, plants start to regenerate as this day marks the first day of working in the fields for the New Year. There is another popular belief that birds ‘propose’ to each other on this day. In order to witness this occasion, one must walk barefoot through fields that are often still frozen.
12. SouthWest China
In Miao, southwest China, the “Sisters’ Meal” festival is celebrated on 15th March. During the festival, women wear silver accessories and beautiful dresses, which are probably the most gorgeous Valentine’s Day customs around the world. They cook various dishes of coloured rice that’s offered on silk fabric to young men walking on roads. Two chopsticks mean love and a clove of garlic means the love is over before it has even begun.
This is how some countries other than India make Valentine's Day different. So, try these unique traditions to express love to your partner and impress them and make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one.