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Valentine's Day around the world

Valentine's Day around the world

Current rating: 4 from 1 votes.

Wondering how Valentine's Day is celebrated around the world? Get some international tips here!

The history of Valentine’s Day dates back to the third century in Rome when the Emperor Claudius the 2nd banned marriage because he believed that single men made better soldiers. 

A young and clearly passionate priest named Valentine decided that he didn’t want to abide by these rules and continued to marry young lovers who came to him. Of course, Valentine was thrown into prison where he fell in love with a girl who used to come and visit him every day until his death. He wrote her a letter before he died, and the letter became the first Valentine.

Here’s how Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world:

  • In Japan, women shower men with gifts, usually chocolates, which they've made because store-bought chocolates are frowned upon on Valentine’s Day. These gifts don’t only go to men the women are romantically involved with, but to men they work with too. On March 14, exactly a month later, the men have to reciprocate with gifts that are not limited to the edible kind. 
  • Brazilians have decided that they would trade in Valentine’s Day and celebrate Dia dos Namorados on June 12, in honour of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of matchmaking and marriage.  Certain rituals are followed and small gifts exchanged.
  • In Ghana, Valentine’s Day has become so commercialised that on 14 February Ghanaians can be found huddled around their radios or televisions hoping to win prizes in the competitions and giveaways held specifically on this day.
  • Mexicans go crazy with giving red-coloured hearts to people they love. Here gift giving is an expression of prosperity and love, and the hype starts just after Christmas.
  • Even Iran celebrates Valentine’s Day, although the Muslim culture far from embraces the event. Stores can be seen decorated with stuffed animals, chocolates and balloons.

Why not create your own tradition for this day by mixing and matching from other countries? It would certainly be a unique celebration!

Image: Kelvin

Images courtesy of Fresh Living magazine

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