Valentine’s day around the world

Although Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday in many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, it is widely celebrated, and restaurants, hotels and shopping centers may be busy around this time of the year.

England

In some regions of England, Valentine buns are baked with raisins, plums, and seeds are eaten. In Norfolk, there is a tradition: the enigmatic Jack Valentine (Old Father Valentine/Old Mother Valentine) knocks at the doors and leaves gifts for children and disappears before they have a chance to spot him on their doorsteps.

Finland

In Finland, they celebrate Friend’s Day, known as Ystävänpäivä, on Valentine’s Day. Friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and significant others receive cards, chocolates, and flowers.

Ghana

Valentine's day is known as “National Chocolate Day” in Ghana because this country is one of the world’s largest exporters of cocoa. Typically, on “National Chocolate Day” Chocolate museum exhibits are held, and chocolate-themed restaurant menus are offered.

Philippines

Valentine's day is a day for many couples to get married or renew their vows in the Philippines. Massive wedding ceremonies take place on this day. It is a favorite tradition in the country, and “Kasalang Bayan” or mass wedding ceremonies need substantial open spaces in public areas to include all the married couples in one service.

Denmark

On Valentine's day, Dutch people send pressed white flowers called “snowdrops” to friends. Men may compose a joking letter, "gaekkebrev," to their lovers. A gaekkebrev is a rhymed little poem or love letter in which the sender does not imply his name, but instead leaves indications of his name with the number of the dots on the note. If the woman guesses the identity of the sender accurately, she will then receive an Easter egg later in the year.

Italy

Centuries ago, Valentine's day was celebrated during the Spring Festival and Italian people would gather in beautiful gardens to listen to music and romantic poetry readings.

Korea

On Valentine's day, females give gifts, habitually candy, to males. There is another celebration called “White Day” on March 14th. On this day, men give gifts to women, and they may confess their love for the first time to their loved ones. There is a “Black Day” celebrated on April 14th and this day, single people who didn't receive anything on White Day gather together at restaurants to dine in for Korean black noodles called  ‘jajangmyeon’ and mourn their "single life" with friends.

France

There has been a custom in France known as “drawing for,” "une loterie d’amour," that took place on Valentine’s Day. According to this tradition, unmarried men and women of all ages would gather into houses facing each other, and call out the windows to each other until all of them paired off with their chosen partners.

Peru

Instead of Roses, orchids symbolize Valentine's day in Peru. Orchids are traditionally exchanged, instead of roses. Group weddings are also standard on this day.

Brazil

Brazil does not celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th because it is too close to their festival of Carnival. They celebrate Dia dos Namorados, "the day of lovers" on June 12th, honoring the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of matchmaking and marriage. Single women perform rituals known as “simpatias,” which is a superstitious act to help obtain something desired. With these rituals, Brazilian women hope that St. Anthony will bring them a husband.

China

Traditional Day of Love in China known as "Qixi Festival," or "Double Seventh Festival" is celebrated on July 7th. Chinese couples visit the Matchmaker Temple to pray for love, hope, and happiness for future marriage. Single people ask for luck in love too. Girls usually prepare fruit and melons and then engage in prayer for a good marriage.

The western celebration of Valentine’s Day traditions on February 14th is becoming popular in the country too.

Guatemala

The day of love, El Día de Cariño, celebrated on February 14th in Guatemala, is noted with colorful parades of people wearing feathered masks and Mayan-inspired clothing. Friends, family, coworkers and romantic partners exchange Cards, Flowers, and chocolates with one another.

Scotland

Various games are played on Valentine’s Day in Scotland. In one of the most popular games, an equal number of unmarried males and females are made to write his or her name on a slip of paper, which is folded and then placed into a hat. One hat is for females, another one for males). The female draws one name from the man's hat and men and women pair off, and they will have to stick with each other throughout the party. Later on, Gifts are given to the women, and women pin their partner’s name over their hearts or on their sleeves. Finally, there is a dance, and such fantastic Valentine games often result in unusual marriages. There is another tradition on Valentine's day: the first man or woman you encounter on the street on Valentine’s Day becomes your valentine.

Bolivia

Instead of Valentine’s Day on February 14th Bolivians celebrate Día del Amor y la Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship) on September 21st. It is a day of celebration of youth, Spring, friendship, and love.

Japan

Japanese celebrate Valentines day same way Koreans do. Usually, Japanese women give presents to their loved ones or any men close to them. After a month, on White Day (March 14), men return the favor.

Slovenia

February 14 is the first day of farming work for the Slovenes; they observe Valentine's day in March of 12, called Saint Gregory's day. They believe that birds are merry and get ready to get married. It carries the meaning that love is in the air and spring is coming. People dress up as brides, grooms and wedding guests, going around the villages and asking for presents.

South Africa

On Valentine’s Day,  women pin the names of their partners on their shirtsleeves in South Africa.  This tradition originates from the abovementioned ancient Rome’s pastoral festival called “Lupercalia.”

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