5 Valentine’s Day Traditions Around The World

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, thoughts of buying flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears are on many people’s to-do lists. However, you might be surprised to learn that outside of North of America, Valentine's Day is celebrated with some unique traditions. Here’s a glimpse into how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in five different countries across the globe.


1. South Korea

Valentine’s Day is very popular among young couples in South Korea and they celebrate variations of the holiday from February through April. On February 14th, women give gifts of flowers, candies and chocolates to the men, and then on March 14th (a holiday denoted “White Day"), men return the favour to the ladies. A month later, on April 14th, Koreans celebrate the single life when they observe “Black Day.” On this holiday, singles get together to eat bowls of jajangmyeon noodles, which are black, and to share in their pity. Some of them even dress in black to “mourn” their solitary status. South Korea also has a designated “day of kisses” on June 14th.


2. Argentina

In Argentina, Valentine’s Day is actually celebrated both on February 14th and in the month of July, where Argenintains devote an entire week to the theme of love. Denoted “Sweetness Week,” lovers and friends will exchange candies and kisses and end the week with a “Friendship Day.”


3. Italy

On Valentine’s Day in Italy, it is popular for couples to celebrate with romantic dinners and gift Baci Perugina, which are small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts wrapped with a romantic quote printed in four languages (baci also means "kiss" in Italian). Originally, Italians celebrated Valentine's Day as the Spring Festival where lovers would gather outside in gardens and enjoy poetry readings and music. Another old Italian tradition was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their prospective husbands. This was due to the belief that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day would be the man she would marry within a year — but this tradition has since been abandoned!


4. South Africa

In South Africa, it’s customary for women to follow an old Roman tradition called “Lupercalia” (a festival believed to be the predecessor to Valentine's Day), in which they pin the name of their love interest on their shirtsleeve, hence “wearing their hearts on their sleeves.” Sometimes, men find out about their secret admirers!  


5. Taiwan

In Taiwan, they celebrate Valentine’s Day in an incredibly romantic manner. On February 14th, men are expected to give bouquets of flowers to their loved one. According to Taiwanese tradition, the colour and number of flowers have special significance. For example, 1 red rose means "My only love," 11 roses mean "You’re my favourite," 99 roses mean "Forever," and 108 roses signify asking someone “Will you marry me?” Taiwan also celebrates a separate festival of love on July 7th.







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