FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
WF Awards

Where to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Around the World

by Angelique Platas

Feb 1, 2020

Photo: Addingwater | Dreamstime.com


While we all know (and have conflicted feelings) about Valentine’s Day, the holiday has quite a world history. The origin of the day varies by country, but the courageous (gory) St. Valentine’s variation we know resulted in the Feb. 14 tradition, still celebrated all around the world.


With cards, flowers and romantic dinners and surprises all the customary tradition in the United States, other parts of the world celebrate a little differently, some even celebrating families and friendships over romantic relationships.


While you’re helping the kids pick their friendly cards for class or vying for your own romantic gesture, think of all the ways you could celebrate around the world:



A relatively new holiday in Denmark, Valentine’s Day began in the 1990s when local young people began gifting both lovers and friends with white flowers. On Feb. 14, men give their sweethearts a poem called gaekkebrev, meaning “joking letter” typically written on intricately cut paper — much like a paper snowflake — signed with an anonymous signature using dots. If the receiver of the poem can correctly guess the sender, he or she wins an Easter egg later in the year.


United Kingdom

Similar to the United States, the United Kingdom has some Victorian roots in the lover’s holiday. The centuries-old tradition dates back to an old-timey single’s party, complete with anonymous valentines as Victorians believed signing their name to the card was bad luck. The United Kingdom started the tradition of giving roses, traditionally seen as the favorite of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and also heart-shaped cakes, candies and inexpensive gifts.


South Korea

Valentine’s Day in South Korea is actually a three-day affair, celebrated Feb. 14, March 14 and April 14. Beginning with Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, ladies shower their partners with classic Valentine’s Day fare, including candies and chocolates. March 14, known as White Day, is when men return the affectionate favors, gifting partners with flowers and large gifts. April 14, it’s the singles’ turn on Black Day. Singles celebrate their relationship status with a bowl of jajangmyeon dark noodles — a bit dramatic, but ‘tis the season.


Love Padlocks at Seoul, Namsan Park in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: VittoriaChe | Dreamstime.com



In Japan, women (again) make the first move on Valentine’s Day. They give the men in their lives gifts, and typically receive a gift back March 14. Recently, women in Japan are beginning to rebel against the Valentine’s tradition and skip it entirely, as the increasing expense of purchasing sweets and trinkets for male colleagues is becoming too much.



The closest holiday to Valentine’s Day in China is Qixi, the Seventh Night Festival. On the seventh lunar month each year, Qixi is celebrated by young couples going to temple to pray for luck and good fortune. Singles typically prepare fruit offerings to Zhinu for luck in love and good fortune.



Rather than celebrate love on Feb. 14, in Wales, residents celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day on Jan. 25. St. Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers and is celebrated with romantic meals, cards, small gifts and romantic gestures. Men traditionally gift women with hand-carved wooden spoons, based on the notion Welsh sailors carved designs into wooden spoons while at sea to bring back to their lovers at home.



While Brazil is busy celebrating Carnival this time of year, their Valentine’s Day, known as Lovers Day or Dia dos Namorados, is celebrated June 12.This tradition honors all loved-based relationships, including family members, friends and couples. Lovers celebrate by exchanging gifts, gathering for dinner and even music festivals.



In Slovenia, Feb. 14 is a bit more labor intensive than anywhere else in the world. The date is considered the best for field work, as St. Valentine is one of the patron saints of spring. Slovenians typically celebrate romance a month later on St. Gregory’s Day, which falls on March 12.


Finland and Estonia

Finland and Estonia celebrate Friend’s Day, rather than Valentine’s Day (as we know it), on Feb. 14. The day is meant to honor friends as well as significant others. Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and couples exchange cards and pleasantries, honoring the state of their relationship, whether it’s romantic or not.


South Africa

Over in South Africa, hopeful romantics can wear a heart on their sleeve displaying the name of their loved one or crush on Valentine’s Day. Couples tend to celebrate with cards, candy and flowers.


No matter where or how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, or who with, it seems the holiday is up for interpretation. Mix it up this year and add a little international flair to your traditions — even if that means you choose the Japanese option of skipping it entirely.


Insta Feed
Jan 10, 2022

Fun for Kids at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT

While each Disney park offers something exciting for all ages, EPCOT is most known for its World Showcase and, for many adults, its “Drinking Around the World” experience. Although Disney does not sponsor that activity, it does offer an “Around the World” activity for kiddos.

A Suite Ride at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

The Peninsula Beverly Hills makes staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.

Jan 6, 2022

The Sunshine Flyer Disney Shuttle Service Launches in Orlando

Following Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort's discontinuation of the Magical Express, Transportation Management Services launched The Sunshine Flyer as a new option for park-goers traveling to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO). The Sunshine Flyer steps in to not only transport passengers between the parks and airport, but also to transport passengers into a place reminiscent of the 1920s.

Jan 4, 2022

Plans for the Ultimate Snow Day

It's that time of year when the weather gets cold and snow starts to fall in droves, causing schools to close and work days to shorten. Such weather means the perfect reason to spend time at home for some quality family time, both inside and outside.

Jan 3, 2022

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Debuts Family Jungle Bubble Lodge

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand introduced transparent Jungle Bubbles in 2019. The bubbles allow for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night observing majestic elephants in their natural habitat during a stay in the unique accommodation. Now, the resort is offering families and small groups the chance to take part in this unique opportunity with a new, two-bedroom Jungle Bubble Lodge.

Travel Tips
Dec 31, 2021

The U.S. Family Ski Index Reveals the Most Family-Friendly Ski Resorts

The Family Vacation Guide analyzed more than 100 resorts in the United States to find the top-rated ski resorts for U.S families. Factors such as the total length of ‘easy’ runs, the cost of a lift pass for a family of four and the availability of people movers went into the ranking of each ski resort.