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Valentine’s Day Around the World

by Angelique Platas

Feb 14, 2018

Xicro | Dreamstime.com

Listicles

Here in the United States, we may know Valentine’s Day for flowers, cards and chocolates, but what about the rest of the world? With so many unique traditions varying from culture to culture, mix it up this year with an international celebration.

 

South Korea

South Korea’s Valentine’s Day is separated into three separate holidays on Feb. 14, March 14 and April 14. Beginning with Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, ladies shower their partners with classic Valentine’s Day fare from chocolates and candies to small tokens of affection.

 

March 14, known as White Day, is when the men turn the tables and show affection by gifting partners with flowers and large gifts.

 

South Korean singles are not forgotten as they have a holiday of their own April 14, Black Day. Singles celebrate their relationship status with a bowl of jajangmyeon, dark noodles — a bit on the nose, but a celebration none the less.

 

Brazil

With such an epic Carnival celebration held February and March, Brazilians celebrate Lovers Day, Dia dos Namorados, June 12. Lovers Day includes all loved-based relationships including family, friends and couples of all ages. The day is celebrated with gift exchanging, dinner gatherings and music festivals.

 

Couple clinks glasses on chic picnic

© Arkady Vyrlan | Dreamstime.com

 

South Africa

South African couples traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day as we do in the West, but with a more literal translation. Participants celebrate the holiday with local events and gift giving, while some women go as far as to wear a heart on their sleeve displaying the name of their loved one or hopeful love interest.

 

China

The closest holiday to Valentine’s Day in China is Qixi, the Seventh Night Festival. Celebrated on the seventh lunar month each year, Qixi is recognized by young couples heading to temple to pray for good fortune, while singles prepare fruit offerings to Zhinu for luck in love.

 

Denmark

A relatively new holiday in Denmark, Valentine’s Day is fun and light-hearted for couples. On Feb. 14, men give their sweethearts a funny poem called gaekkebrev, meaning “joking letter” typically written on intricately cut paper — much like a paper snowflake — signed with an anonymous dot signature. If the receiver of the poem can correctly guess the sender, he or she wins an Easter egg later in the year.

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