The season of love is officially upon us—well, at least in the United States. Though Feb. 14 is commonly known to us as Valentine’s Day, other countries across the globe celebrate love at various times of the year.
Here are a few unique ways that different countries celebrate:
In addition to celebrating the traditional Valentine’s Day, Argentina designates an entire week in the month of July to spread the love. From July 1-7, Argentinians participate in “the week of sweetness.”
During this week, Argentinians exchange sweets with one another to show their love. The holiday is perfect for both platonic and romantic displays of affection, where chocolate and candy are gifted to loved ones. For couples, it is said that if you kiss your partner, you must then give them something sweet.
The French village St. Valentin is a focal point of celebration. From Feb. 12-14, the town hosts a festival to appreciate the history of the holiday. The village becomes flooded with flowers, making it a popular tourist destination for the romantic holiday. As part of the festivities, the town designates a Cupid’s Mailbox, the perfect place to drop off love letters, and hosts chocolate-makers that construct chocolate hearts.
In South Korea, people celebrate love on the 14th of different months. In February, women display their affection by giving men chocolate. In March, the country celebrates “White Day,” where men then give gifts to women.
Single people are not to be forgotten, though. On April 14, single people, or those who did not receive gifts in the previous two months, finally get their moment to shine. They come together and eat jajangmyeon noodles and black bean sauce on “Black Day.”
The “Day of San Dwynwen” is celebrated in Wales on Jan. 25. On this day, the Welsh celebrate by appreciating their own Saint of Love, Saint Dwynwen, rather than the traditional Saint Valentine.
On this day, the Welsh exchange wooden spoons as a sign of their love for one another. They hand carve these spoons with designs and patterns that hold special meanings. A few examples of these include horseshoes representing good luck, wheels representing support, and keys representing the key to one’s heart.
In southwest China, the people come together to partake in the “Sisters’ Meal festival” that takes place on March 15. At this festival, women display their beauty and talent in hopes of attracting men. They wear unique dresses and accentuate themselves with silver jewelry.
An important tradition at the festival is the serving of different colored rices, which are served on silk fabric to young men that pass by. It is believed that the destiny of love lies inside the item that is found in your rice. For example, finding two chopsticks means that love is on the way. However, receiving a clove of garlic means that your love is already over, even if it has yet to begin.
In England, there are two standout traditions for Valentine’s Day. The first is from the past, when women placed bay leaves on their pillows. They did this because it was believed that it would bring them dreams of their future husbands.
The second tradition is practiced by children in Norfolk. For the children there, Jack Valentine is comparable to Santa. On Valentine’s Day, children wake up with the hopes of presents and treats left for them to find.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, we hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day season!
My name is Natalie Raabe and I am a junior at Oswego High School. This is my first year being a part of the 42fifty team. I am involved in a variety of programs at the school including Mu Alpha Theta, SNHS, and BIONIC.
[…] outside of their homes to socialize, and this has also led this celebration to be known as the true Chinese Valentine’s Day. People generally light lanterns that will either float into the air or across water for the […]