Valentine's Day Around the World

While Valentine’s Day may seem like a very “American” holiday due to its commodification of love, cultures all around the world celebrate this day in their own ways. Some cultures don’t celebrate on February 14, but they have other days designated for the celebration of love. Let’s explore some of the traditions of Valentine’s Day from around the world!

  1. 1. Phillipines

    engagement ring in a box

    Valentine’s Day in the Philippines is the second most commercialized holiday, behind Christmas. Many Filipinos get engaged in the month of February and many even get married. The mayor of Sual, a region in the Philippines, has started holding mass weddings on Valentine’s Day for couples who cannot afford to have their own wedding. The event is called “I Do. I Do. Araw ng Pag- IBIG (Day of Love)”.

  2. 2. Wales

    be mine

    St. Dwynwen’s Day is the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s Day. Dwynwen was a nun who became the patron saint of love due to three wishes and an arranged marriage gone wrong. The Welsh celebrate this day on January 25. While it is not as popular as Valentine’s Day is in the United States, many people still gift their loved ones chocolate, cards, and sometimes even long, hand-carved spoons called “love spoons”.

  3. 3. Argentina

    Valentine's Sweetheart Candies

    While some Argentinians celebrate Valentine’s Day, most people celebrate “Semana de la Dulzura” aka “Sweetness Week”. This takes place in July and was originally a marketing strategy by candy companies to sell more products. During this week, Argentinians trade candy for kisses.

  4. 4. Czech Republic

    Nature Flowers Spring Pink

    Valentine’s Day is celebrated on May 1 in the Czech Republic and is called the “Day of Love”. It falls on International Labour Day, so couples are able to enjoy this time together on a day off of work. Czech’s believe that couples must kiss under a cherry blossom tree to guarantee happiness. They also believe that if a lady does not receive a kiss under a cherry tree she will wither away within the next year.

 

Now that you know a little bit about the Valentine’s celebrations that happen around the world, you can integrate some of these traditions into your own Valentine’s Day. Kiss your partner under a cherry tree, give someone their favorite candy in exchange for a kiss, or, if you have a lot of free time, carve them a long love spoon!