Love is all around us: Valentine’s Day traditions around the world

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From giving books to celebrating friendship as well as romance, there are all sorts of loving celebrations going on around the world in the coming weeks and months.

The most romantic day of the year is very nearly upon us, giving loved-up couples everywhere the chance to fall in love that little bit more. (Featured image by Johntex)

Whether you’re planning a big romantic gesture to mark the occasion or just spending some quality time together, Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to celebrate your relationship.

Love is a universal language, and nationalities around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in their own unique way.

From giving books to celebrating friendship as well as romance, there are all sorts of loving celebrations taking place around the world in the coming weeks and months.

Wales
Wales. Image by -mrsraggle-

Wales

Let’s start close to home with St Dwynwen’s Day in Wales. This is seen as the Welsh equivalent to Valentine’s Day, and is celebrated on January 25.

This day celebrates St Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of love, and sees both children and adults buy cards for each other to show their love and appreciation of someone.

The celebration stems from the story of St Dwynwen, who is said to have fallen in love with a man but rejected his advances.

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Catalonia, Spain
Catalonia, Spain. Image by Francesc_2000

Spain

Throughout most of Spain, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in much the same way as in the UK, with flowers and cards sent to loved ones.

In Catalonia, however, Valentine’s Day is overshadowed by St George’s Day on April 23, which has similar customs and traditions to Valentine’s Day.

This sees men give women a rose, and women give men a book – “a rose for love and a book forever”.

Valentine's Day in Latin America
Valentine’s Day. Image by talcahuanofotos

Latin America

Valentine’s Day is known as the Day of Love and Friendship in a number of Latin America countries, including Mexico, Ecuador and Puerto Rico, as well as in South America.

Couples in these countries exchange the usual loving gifts with each other, but it also sees friends show their appreciation for each other – either by doing them a favour or just generally being extra nice to one another.

South Korea
South Korea. Image by mersy

South Korea

Valentine’s Day made its way to East Asia thanks to some very clever marketing efforts by chocolate and confectionery companies.

The day is especially popular in South Korea, when women give chocolate to the special men in their lives. But it’s not all one-way traffic; men are then obliged to reciprocate on March 14 with sweets on what is known as “White Day”.

Any singletons feeling hard done by at this time of year are advised to head over to South Korea on April 14.

This has become known as “Black Day”, when anyone who was left out on 14 of February or March heads to a restaurant to eat black noodles and contemplate their single life.

Japan
Japan. Image by cvander

Japan

Similar customs have arisen in Japan, with women giving chocolates to men on February 14. Many women will give chocolate to all their male friends and co-workers, with the quality and quantity depending on their relationship with each man.

This was one-way traffic for some time, but it has now become tradition for men to mark “White Day” with gifts of chocolate, jewellery or lingerie.

Love is all around us: Valentine’s Day traditions around the world was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Alex Francis
Author: Alex Francis (118 posts)

Blogger and travel writer, I like my holidays either really cold or really hot. If I'm not flying down an icy mountain or relaxing on a scorching-hot beach, I'm not interested!