There's so much more you could do on Valentine's than dining and cards.
Some countries embrace unique ways of expressing themselves on Valentines day. We look into different cool traditions that can help you spice up your valentines and avoid being obvious.
Even though they don’t commercialize it as other countries, Valentine's day in Germany is celebrated through exchanging pigs. Yes, a pig. They symbolize luck and lust an can be given in any form. Chocolates, sweets , picture form or a real life 'oinker', whichever you prefer. Another important item of Valentine's day in Germany is the big ginger cookies, made in the shape of a heart and decorated with frosting.
The celebrations are based on Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival for purification, health and fertility usually starting on Valentine's day to the 15th of February. Instead of couples going out on dates, young girls pin the names of their partners on their sleeves.
Besides being hopeless romantics who celebrate love on the 14th day of every month, the singles console each other with food! On a chosen date the single people meet up and eat black noodles as consolation of their lack of a love life. This is also done throughout the year.
When you’re thinking of the one day struggle to be romantic, the Argentinians have dedicated one more day just for love. In July, these part of the world celebrates ‘sweetness week’ in which lovers give each other kisses in exchange for sweets.
Valentines in Japan is like none other. On this day, it’s the ladies that gift the men. There are two types of chocolate. The Giri chocolate and Honmei chocolate. Giri means obligation and the girls are expected to give it to friends, relatives or even bosses. The Honmei choco however, is meant for lovers, boyfriends or their husbands. When gifting their partners, the honmei chocolate must be homemade as the popular belief is that buying chocolate for your partner makes it less special.
No, don’t feel cheated just yet…
On 14th March, just exactly a month after valentines, the Japanese host the White day where men are then expected to gift back the women that brought them gifts on valentines. Most times its white chocolate as connoted by the name but there is no specific reason type of gift to be given back.
Way before the concept of Valentines was adapted, the Romanians celebrated their own day of love known as Dragobete and the celebration of love. According to mythology, Dragobete is a symbol of love, hope youth and nature rebirth.
Argentinians have dedicated not just one but two days to love. Apart from Valentine’s Day, the couples celebrate ‘Sweetness Week’ in July in which they exchange kisses for sweets.
On the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese calendar, they celebrate their festival of love coined the Qixi festival. In some parts of china, the ladies prepare an assortment of rice dishes and serve their potential partners. Couples also prepare fruits and pray for prosperity.
The country known for it's unique traditionalised parties plays it different for Valentine's too. While most countries, including other Portuguese-speaking nations, celebrate Valentine’s Day in honor of Saint Valentine in February, Brazil does not celebrate on February 14th due to the date’s proximity to Carnival celebrations. Instead, they celebrate their lover’s day, Dia dos Namorados on 12 June and commemorate the Saint of marriage, St. Anthony’s day on the next 13th.
Lover’s day comes for the Welsh who celebrate St Dwynwen’s day on the 25th of January. Lover’s exchange beautifully carved wooden spoons meant to ‘brew’ romance.