Did you know that Valentine’s Day is not just about heart candies, chocolates or stuffed animals? You may not know it, but the most romantic day of the year is celebrated differently around the world. While some settle for greeting card and a box of chocolates, others prefer to commemorate the special holiday in a unique way.
Here are 6 unique Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world.
Number 1: France
France is definitely a place synonymous to romance. That being said, it easily becomes the most romantic destination in the world.
It is believed that the very first Valentine’s Day card originated from the country. Apparently, Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.
Valentine’s Day in France also boasts an event called loterie d’amour, or “drawing for love.” In this occasion, men and women gather together and take turns calling out to one another and pair off.
Men who were not satisfied with their match could easily leave the woman. Women who were left unmatched, on the other hand, gathered around a bonfire where they burned pictures of men who wronged them.
Apparently, the event became so controversial that the government eventually banned it.
Number 2: Denmark
Valentine’s Day in Denmark has its own local twist. Instead of giving red roses, Danes exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops.
Danish Valentine’s Day also involves exchanging “lover’s cards.” Traditionally, these cards are transparent which showed a photo of the card giver.
Men also give women gaekkebrev, a “joking letter” with a funny poem and signed only with anonymous dots. If the receiver correctly guessed who the sender is, she will receive an Easter egg later that year.
Number 3: South Korea
In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is considered one of the most popular holidays for young couples. In fact, it’s so popular that variations of the holiday are celebrated from February through April.
The celebration starts on February 14, when women give their men chocolates, candies, and flowers. Then, men take their turn on gifting their partners on March 14 during a holiday called White Day.
Those who are single also have their very own holiday called Black Day. Celebrated every April 14, this occasion is meant for people to “mourn” being single by eating dark bowls of black bean paste noodles.
Number 4: Wales
Valentine’s Day in Wales is celebrated a bit differently. Instead of commemorating Saint Valentine, Welsh remember Saint Dwynwen, their local patron saint on lovers. This special event is celebrated on January 25.
Traditionally, Welsh couples give romantic gifts to each other, particularly a love spoon. It is usually made of wood with intricate carvings as a token of affection.
Today, love spoons are also given as a special present during weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.
Number 5: Philippines
In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is celebrated almost completely similar to Western countries. But what made its celebration stands out from the rest is its mass wedding.
Apparently, many take advantage of the occasion and share a wedding along with the other couples. Held every February 14, these mass wedding ceremonies have gained popularity not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well.
Hundreds of couples gather at malls, parks, or other public areas to tie the knot or even renew their vows.
Number 6: Italy
Another romantic place to celebrate Valentine’s Day is in Italy. The country has unique ways of celebrating the special day, including the Spring Festival.
During this event, couples gathered outside to enjoy poetry readings and good music before taking a stroll with their loved ones.
There’s also a belief that the first man an unmarried woman saw on Valentine’s Day will be the one she would marry within a year. Because of that, many single girls wake up before dawn in hopes of spotting their future husbands.