Valentine’s Day Around The World

Even if you loathe chocolate and flowers, there are a variety of non-traditional ways to celebrate the day.

Eliana Black, Buisness Manager and Staff Writer

Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14. Not only is it acknowledged in America, but all around the globe. Just because we all celebrate it, doesn’t mean we all do things the same way. In media you often see the cards, chocolate, flowers, other gifts, and maybe even a special dinner for the night. But how do people celebrate it in other countries?

Many people associate roses with romance or dating, and it’s not something unusual to see on Valentine’s Day in America. But who started that? The United Kingdom did. They saw it as a sign from the goddess of love, Venus. Not surprising that we do that with relationships here.

In Wales, the holiday of love is called St. Dwynwen’s Day on January 25. Welsh sailors would engrave names and notes into wooden spoons as gifts for their significant others.  They carved the spoons in hopes of seeing their lovers again soon. The tradition has carried on into the 21st century.  In Wales, spoons are still gifted to significant others in January.

Japan tends to switch it up a bit. Couples do not give each other gifts on the same day. Instead, women gift on Valentine’s Day and men give back on White Day, March 14. Hence the name, men usually gift their lover white roses, chocolates, or anything else white.

In South Korea, everybody celebrates Valentine’s Day! Well, sort of. They have the same tradition as Japan, but have dedicated a holiday to single people. Black Day, on April 14, is celebrated by single friends coming together to celebrate being single by eating noodles.

Estonia likes to acknowledge those who are not in relationships, but want to be. They have a “Love Bus,” busses that are taken by single people, hoping to meet their new love interest.

Dia dos Namorados (Day of Lovers) in Brazil is on June 12. No date? No problem. Close friends celebrate the holiday together by going out to party.

A tradition for February 14 in South Africa is to pin a crush’s name on your shirt.  Your crush may find out if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough.

If Valentine’s Day isn’t for you, there are many other holidays happening on February 14 this year in the United States. It is also the date of International Book Giving Day, Fredrick Douglass Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, and more! Whatever you choose to celebrate, enjoy your February 14!