Valentine’s Day 2024: 8 Unique V-Day Traditions From The World Over

Valentine’s Day 2024: 8 Unique V-Day Traditions From The World Over

These range from sending chocolates and holding mass weddings to casting love spells and divination

FPJ Features DeskUpdated: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 09:30 PM IST
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Pic: Freepik

Japan & South Korea

In Japan, it is customary for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day. There are two types of chocolates: honmei-choco (chocolates given to romantic partners) and giri-choco (obligatory chocolates given to friends, colleagues, or bosses). A month later, on March 14, known as White Day, men reciprocate by giving gifts, often white chocolates, to women.

Similar to Japan, South Korea celebrates Valentine’s Day with a twist. On February 14, women give chocolates to men, and on March 14 (White Day), men reciprocate. However, South Korea also has a Black Day on April 14, where singles who did not receive gifts on the previous two occasions gather and eat jajangmyeon (black bean paste noodles) to commiserate.

France

While exchanging cards and gifts is common in France, one unique tradition is the ‘loterie d’amour’ or ‘drawing for love’. Unmarried individuals would enter houses facing each other and call out to one another, eventually pairing off. If a man wasn’t satisfied with his match, he could leave the woman for another, and women left unmatched gathered for a bonfire, burning pictures and objects while cursing men who had wronged them. In Le village des amoureux (the village of lovers), there are a variety of fests organised a few days before February 14. They have a Tree of Eternal Hearts where couples propose to each other, exchange or renew their vows. There’s also a Tree of Vows where couples hang engraved hearts as a symbol of their commitment.

Philippines

The Philippines is known for mass weddings held on Valentine’s Day. In recent years, hundreds of couples gather in public places to get married or renew their vows in a collective celebration of love. Serenading is a traditional way of expressing love in Filipino culture. On Valentine’s Day, some individuals hire musicians or serenade their loved ones with romantic songs, either in person or through surprise deliveries.

Italy

Italians celebrate La Festa Degli Innamorati on February 14, to commemorate the Goddess of Marriage and Women, called Juno. One common tradition is the Love Padlocks where couples attach padlocks to bridges and throw away the keys, symbolising their everlasting love.

Denmark

Its not just the couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day. There is a tradition where friends and family members exchange ‘gaekkebrev’, which are joking letters or poems signed anonymously with dots instead of the sender’s name. If the recipient correctly guesses the sender, they receive an Easter egg as a reward.

South Africa

‘Wearing heart on sleeves’ is taken quite literally on Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 15 in honour of Lupercalia, the Roman festival. Women attach a heart to their sleeves or write the name of the person they like on a piece of paper and pin it on their sleeves.

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, Valentine’s Day, known as Svaty Valentyn or Den svateho Valentyna, is celebrated with traditions that emphasise love and affection. In Czech folklore, there is a tradition associated with love spells and divination on Valentine’s Day. Young, unmarried women would perform rituals to predict their future romantic partners. For example, they might stand in front of a mirror, holding a candle, and look for the reflection of their future husband.

Brazil

In Brazil, Valentine's Day is celebrated on June 12, known as "Dia dos Namorados." The date is associated with Saint Anthony, the patron saint of marriages. On this day, couples exchange gifts, chocolates, and cards to express their love. It is also common for friends to organise festive dinners and parties. Some couples choose to make public declarations of love on Dia dos Namorados. This can include romantic gestures in public places, sharing love messages on social media, or even proposing marriage.

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