Love is an international language, but the way love is expressed differs around the world. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, stores are flooded with candy hearts, chocolates and stuffed animals. However, not every country turns to greeting cards and heart-shaped candies to declare love. Have you ever wondered how this day is celebrated around the world?
Check out 10 countries’ Valentine's Day traditions all around the world!
For Valencians the most romantic day of the year falls on 9th October, the Day of Saint Dianysius, the patron saint of love. To mark this festive occasion, many festivals and parades are held and traditionally men offer their partner a Mocadora – marzipan figurines – as a token of their love.
A nation famed for their passion, the Welsh celebrate love on January 25th – St Dwynwen’s Day. Intricately carved wooden spoons, known as lovespoons, are often exchanged between lovers in a tradition that dates from the 16th century.
The romantic South Koreans celebrate love on the 14th of every month – not just February! These days include May’s Rose Day, June’s Kiss Day, December’s Hug Day & April’s Black Day when singletons congregate to console themselves over Jajangmyeon – black noodles.
Valentine’s Day is a popular occasion for mass weddings where hundreds, sometimes even thousands, will tie the knot in unison. These huge events are often sponsored by the government as a form of public service.
Celebrated on the 24th February, Dragobete, also known as ‘The day the birds are betrothed,’
is a mixture of Valentine’s Day & a celebration of Spring. Girls and boys head out to the forest to pick flowers, whilst others wash their face in snow to bring health & happiness.
On February 14th, friendshi rather than romantic love is celebrated during Sobrapaev, literally translated as ‘Friendship Day’.
Whilst in most nations it is the women that are spoilt on Valentine’s Day, in Japan it is the men that receive gifts of chocolate. It is not until March 14th, known as White Day that men can choose to return the favour.
Between the 12th and 14th of February, the aptly titled ‘Village of Love’ transforms into the epicentre of romance. Expect houses decked in roses, trees covered in love notes, multiple marriage proposals and the chance to plant your own lovers’ tree.
Known as Qixi, the Chinese festival of love takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar. It originated from the tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers, who were forced apart due to their social status, yet were allowed to reunite once a year. These days singletons prepare fruit in the hope of future love, whilst couples pray for prosperity.
February 14th Bulgarians celebrate St. Trifon Zarezan Day, otherwise known as Winemakers Day. Couples therefore tend to celebrate their love for one another with a glass or two of some of the nation’s delicious wine!