Valentine’s Day around the world
Valentine’s Day is the Lover’s Day, celebrated in almost the whole world, with several and curious habits in different countries… Let’s have a look to the different ways of celebrations!
European and English-speaking countries, the tradition is quite similar.
- Italy, France and Australia used to celebrate Valentine’s Day with gifts, chocolates and romantic dinners by candlelight, while in Spain the tradition wants men give a bouquet of red roses to his lover;
- in England is added a tradition that dates back to the fifteenth century. It is said that Charles of Orleans, when was prisoner in the Tower of London, would send letters to his beloved wife, calling her “ma tres doulce Valentinèè “. So today the romantic notes addressed to the beloved, called “Valentine”, have anonymous sender, to make it even sweeter message;
- in the United States this day celebrates emotional bonds, the festivities involve the whole family and even the children prepare cards and treats to exchange with their classmates, parents and teachers;
- Finland and Estonia, instead, called February 14 “Day of friends”, which is why they use to celebrate it in company, instead of dinners by candlelight.
The African continent shows us that Valentine’s Day is not always a day to celebrated only with exchanges of gifts or other material goods.
- in Kenya, for example, it is traditional for women to donate their husband a gourd of palm wine, receiving in exchange a piece of lime cake, then the two lovers drink together from “the Cup of Love“. Also in Kenya, the Samburu compete in special love dances, intended to courtship, ending with the young people who throw their tuft of hair on the face of the beloved, this one, if doesn’t show annoyance, expects to receive as a gift from him a beaded necklace;
- dance competition are even used in Niger, in the tribe of the Wodaabe, where girls are asked to choose their own partner among all the dancers, that for the occasion will cover their body with necklaces, colorful clothing and hats.
Valentine’s Day traditions is enriched even more with curious details in the countries of the Rising Sun.
- In Japan, the protagonists are women, who must give handmade chocolates to their lovers, or donate them to co-workers or classmates, as a sign of friendship. Men reciprocate the gift received a month later, on March 14, called “White Day“, and in this case chocolates are to be exclusively white!
- In South Korea the tradition is the same that in Japan, but with a shade more: on April 14, called “Black Day“, those who did not receive anything either February 14 or March 14, must go in restaurant where he will eat spaghetti with squid ink and he will complain of his misfortunes and of his own solitude;
- in China, instead, it is the man who brings gifts, flowers and chocolates to women, even if there is an older tradition, “The night of the seven“, which is celebrated in August and in which women show their domestic skills to find husband.
There are also countries in which Valentine’s day is not celebrated for political or religious reasons, or countries where it is moved to another date.
- in Thailand, for example, everyone meet up to celebrate the Lover’s Day only and exclusively when it is taken the decision to marry;
- in Brazil, because of the importance assumed by the Carnival, it is celebrated on June 12, the eve of St. Anthony, saint of weddings. The tradition wants that unmarried women bring with them all day the statue of the saint, as an amulet that helps to find soon the future partner.
Celebrate love always, in spite of distances.
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