While Valentine’s Day is universally accepted as a day dedicated to love, the way in which we express that love can differ from person to person. When it comes to Valentine’s Day traditions, we oftentimes believe that we all celebrate this special day in the same way, on the same day — a special date, chocolates, and maybe some roses on February 14th. However, it seems like the rest of the world has a different idea when it comes to this holiday. Here are some interesting, unique, and just plain clever ways that other countries celebrate love:
With South Korea being almost exactly on the opposite side of the earth from the U.S., it only makes sense that their Valentine’s Day tradition is completely opposite to ours. While we mostly expect the males to initiate the gift giving and “woo”-ing, South Korea gives women the power. On February 14th, women are expected to shower the men of their liking with chocolates, roses, and gifts in order to win their affection. But don’t worry, the next month of March 14th (White Day), it’s up to the men to shower them back with even bigger gifts.
For those who don’t have a special someone in their life, April 14th (Black Day) is the day dedicated to mourn the lack of love from a significant other with the consumption of black bean noodles complete with some good ol’ fashioned crying. Wow, they’ve thought of almost everything!
Ever heard of the term “wearing your heart on your sleeve?” Well in South Africa, women literally wear their hearts on their sleeves. Here, the tradition on Valentine’s Day is to wear the name of their crush or love interest on their sleeve. Derived from the ancient Roman tradition “Lupercalia,” this allows men to see who their secret admirers are. Hopefully you don’t run into someone with the same name on their sleeve!
Instead of celebrating on the 14th of February, Wales celebrates the “day of San Dwynen” on the 25th of January. On this day, rather than exchanging a typical gift or chocolate, they gift their lover with an intricately carved wooden spoon. In practice since the early 16th century, we’re glad we got the scoop on this unique tradition!
What’s better than getting sweets and a stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day? The combination of the two! In Spain, their version of Valentine’s Day is known as the “Feast of Dionysus” on October 9th. Here, it’s tradition to give marzipan figurines that are called “macadoras” to their love interests. Some of them are too cute to eat!
Those who don’t have a significant love interest for Valentine’s Day may want to take a trip to Estonia this Valentine’s Day. Here, the day of love is more dedicated to singles rather than couples. This is a day for appreciating family and friendships as well as helping single people find love. How do they do that? Activities such as parades and a trip on their famous “love bus.” Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like — a bus full of singles looking to find their perfect match.
Although different cultures express love in their own unique ways, we all love to celebrate love! Did you learn something new today? Let us know!