Different Countries follow different traditions on Valentine's Day. It may not be all rosy flowers or chocolates or teddy bears. Let's find out how people celebrate in different countries.
Snowdrops, a kind of fresh pressed white flowers, are exchanged as a mark of love. Cards with pics of the sender, called 'Lover's Cards', are one of the favourites among sweethearts. 'Gaekkebrev', a letter with jokes/poems/rhymes are also sent as a token of one's love. If the receiving girl can guess the sender, the number of letters of sender's first name marked in 'dots', she receives an easter egg else the sender receives one.
Valentine's cards are the favourites among the people. A remarkable tradition was followed on Valentine's day when men and women pair off by filling in houses faced opposite to each other which was later banned by the French administration citing violence in such events. Men would pick women in the opposite house by calling their name and the unmatched ones would gather for a bonfire camp at night.
Feb 14th is a day of celebration for the men in South Korea. Men receive gifts in the form of chocolates, candles, and flowers with favour returned the next month, March 14th, by the men and celebrated as 'White Day'. Couples who are single celebrate their status by eating dark bowels or black paste noodles on April 14th observed as 'Black Day'.
Love is expressed by drawing images and symbols on 'Love spoons', wooden spoons carved by men. These spoons are now given as gift token on marriages, anniversaries and birthdays.
Valentine's day is celebrated as 'Qixi'. Women bring melon and other fruits to a star named 'Zhinu' to get good husbands. Chinese people look to the sky for the stars 'Zhinu' and 'Niulang' on this day. According to Chinese history, 'Zhinu',the daughter of the heavenly king, had love marriage with 'Niulang', a cowherd and had twins from the marriage. 'Zhinu' was forced to return back to the stars by her father and was only allowed to meet 'Niulang' once a year during 'Qixi'.
Women gift their men with homemade chocolates on the first date and the favour is returned by men on Valentine's day with gifts and hampers.
Peanuts and chocolates are the major gifts received by Taiwanese women. Theme restaurants are also in place for the couples to spend some precious time.
Women place five bay leaves on each corner and in the center of the bed to dream about their future partners. Also, the wet bay leaves with rosewater are also kept across their pillows. Unmarried women would gaze out of their window before sunrise and the first man she sees is supposed to be her future husband or would be a lookalike of the one she will marry.
United States of America
Valentine cards are widely used by people for expressing love in the US, making the day the second most card-sending holiday after Christmas. Flowers, gift hampers, teddy bears and chocolates form the secondary options.
Poetry readings and music festivals are organized across the country. Chocolates are exchanged among the lovers and extremely popular among the chocolates is Baci Perugina, small chocolate covered with hazelnuts with romantic verses in four languages. Women wake up early before the dawn to get first sight of a man who may be her future husband or a lookalike of her future husband.
Normally Brazilians celebrate 'Lovers' Day' instead of Valentines Day on June 12th. People spend time with family and relatives with meals cooked at the gathering. Music concerts and night festivals are organized across the country. On the following day, single women pray to Saint Anthony to bless them with a good husband.
Young women follow an age-old Roman tradition called 'Lupercalia' and wear the name of their love-partner on their sleeves. Flowers, chocolates, and festivals also set the tone for the festival.
Unmarried women go to Singapore river and pray till night for a perfect partner by throwing mandarin oranges in the river. People believe getting married on this day brings more love and charm in their life. Concerts and open-ground events are also organised for couples and young ones.
Flowers, chocolates, ginger heart shaped cookies with words on it and love tokens with messages are exchanged by couples in this part of the world. Small statues or postures of pigs offering flowers or pigs laying on a chocolate heart is exchanged as gifts and is seen as bringing luck to the life of the receiver. Pigs holding four leaves clover while climbing on a heart is one such gift for extra luck with the loved ones on Valentine's day.