Ever wonder what other countries celebrated Valentine’s Day and what their traditions are? I do, so I decided to do some research and share my findings. I found that some countries don’t necessarily celebrate on February 14th or call it Valentine’s Day, but they have their own twist to the holiday of love.
Japan - On February 14th only women give chocolates to their loved ones and co-workers. A month later, on March 14th, men return the favor on “White Day.” If a woman gives chocolate to non-romantic men on Valentine’s Day, it’s called “Giri-choko” or “obligation chocolate”, meaning a token of platonic affection or gratitude.
Finland – There’s not too much “pressure” for love when the Finnish celebrate their version of Valentine’s Day. Ystävänpäivä is the day when you celebrate your friends (it translates to “Friends Day”).
Brazil – Since Valentine’s Day lands in the middle of Carnival, the Brazilians celebrate Dia dos Namorados on June 12th. This “Day of Lovers” celebrates the feast day of the patron saint of romance and matchmaking. One of the many traditions has single women write down the names of the people they have crushes on, folding and mixing them up, and then picking one name out on June 12th. That name represents the person they should marry.
Romania – February 24th is the day of love for Romanians. Named Dragobete, this day celebrates love and spring. The traditions sound so nice – girls collect snow for magic potions while the boys and girls sing songs about spring. This is also the day known for when the “birds get betrothed” or when they start building their nests.
Thailand – Valentine’s Day is a big day to register for marriage licenses. Women travel to Trimurti shrine, praying that they will find their husband soon, while placing candles, incense and rad roses at the feet of the Hindu deity.
There are so many other traditions from around the world. Please share your traditions in the comments section!