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Valentine’s Day around the World

Valentine’s Day is now a joyous festival widely celebrated in all corners of the world.                

Valentine's Day in USA (United States) – Valentine’s Day classroom parties are common in America as a celebration typical of the country. They follow the trend of showering lavish gifts on the beloved. Valentine gifts in USA like sweet cards, loving messages, gifts, flowers, trinkets, and letters all form an integral part of the celebration.

Valentine's Day in Japan – It is said Japanese women are a bit reserved when it comes to expressing their feelings of love but Valentine’s Day becomes an exception when these Japanese women present their loved ones, male or female, with nice gifts especially chocolates.

Happy Valentine's Day in France – France had seen a strange Valentine’s Day custom in the olden days in which the people would call each other out from one window to another and created pairs with the partner they chose. After the pairing, in case the man found the lady not attractive enough, he was free to desert her. Then later those unhappy ladies would avenge the pitiless action of deserting by igniting a bonfire in which they would burn the picture of the unfaithful lover while continuously verbally abusing him. This ritual was later banned as it carried a lot of malice and negativity. Now the valentine day tradition has boiled down to exchanging elegant French greetings cards containing loving messages.

Valentine's Day in Italy – In the olden days, Valentine’s Day was celebrated as a spring festival in Italy. Youngsters used to gather in beautiful gardens to listen to music and read poetry. But then later on this ritual became obsolete and people haven’t celebrated Valentine’s Day in such fashion for centuries now. But Italians do follow the ritual of announcing their engagement on February 14th and shops are decorated days in advance beautifully with bon bons.

Valentine's Day in India – Valentines’ Day celebration is quite popular in India among the younger generation. But every year we see a lot of violent protests against Valentine’s Day celebration by various factions of the society. Some political parties have always discouraged the Western influence on Indian culture in the form of Valentine’s Day celebration. Each year, we find some violence occurring in various regions between the anti-Valentine’s Day activists and the enthusiastic revellers. Exchanging Valentine day gifts in India, romantic dinners, card exchange, romantic outings are quite popular in India on this special day.

Valentine's Day in Canada – Valentine’s Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Canada. Hand-written love notes are exchanged between lovers. Parties are found galore all over. Special Valentine’s Day merchandise sells a lot for the occasion. Valentine Day Flowers and chocolates top the list when it comes to gifting. Gift exchange among the children is customary on this day. In fact, in schools Valentine’s Day parties are arranged when the children are asked to put their gifts in an ornamental box. These gifts are then distributed among the classmates by the teacher or by a student. This is a way of encouraging the creativity of children where they considerately design a gift for a fellow classmate apart from encouraging the feeling of caring and sharing.

Valentine's Day in Australia – In Australia, the ritual is to prepare the most expensive of valentines made of satin cushion and decorate exquisitely with beautiful flowers and coloured shells. This valentine is put into ornate boxes and gifted to the lover and it has a lot of emotion and passion attached to it, not to mention the expensiveness.

Valentine's Day in Britain – Britain is known to compose a great number of Valentine’s Day love poems that we have ever read or come across. Children sing special songs on the occasion to receive gifts in lieu of that on this particular day.

Valentine's Day in Scotland – In Scotland, an interesting game is played on Valentine’s Day. Equal number of boys and girls who are not yet married participate in this game. Both the ladies and the gentlemen scribble their names, which might be a pseudonym, on a piece of paper. All the papers with the names written are collected in a hat both for the men and the women. After the chits are mixed thoroughly each one draws a chit, the men draw female names and vice versa. In all probability, the names do not match. In that case, the choice of the female is respected and they pair up thus to enjoy the rest of the day. As per custom, ladies receive gifts from the person they chose. Thus starts a love story which in all eventualities might end up in marriage. It is customary to exchange gifts generally in Scotland on Valentine’s Day. Also they follow a chance game ritual of accepting as a valentine the one person whom they meet first on Happy Valentine’s Day. It might happen in the streets or any other public place or elsewhere. Joyous lovers eat, drink and make merry on this day.

Valentine's Day in Spain – In Spain the lovers exchange gifts and loving husbands gift rose bouquets to wives.

Valentine's Day in South Africa – South Africa, from the geographical perspective, is a very beautiful nation and the pristine beaches and other nature’s treasures are all thronged in huge numbers by joyous Valentine’s Day crowd. Young girls showcase their love by pinning their lover’s names on their sleeves. The clubs, discothèques, pubs, restaurants and hotels throb with Valentine’s Day parties. The local markets and shops are adorned with beautiful flowers and hearts and other Valentine’s Day merchandise such as balloons.

Valentine's Day in South Korea – Following the Japanese tradition, South Korean women too bestow lavish gifts on their men, mainly chocolates. And then in the following month that is on March 14th, they in turn receive gifts from the men they love and pampered on Valentine’s Day. Then again with a sudden twist, South Koreans also celebrate a Black Day on April 14th. This is a celebration of the singles in which they feast on “jajangmyeon” which is nothing but white Korean noodles cooked in black bean sauce and often called black noodles.

Valentine's Day in China - In China the young generation’s urge to find a life partner of their choice as soon as possible led them to organize public events such as mass blind dates in parks or stadiums. The rapidly aging population leading to a slower economy, the dropping fertility rates, the policy of one child per couple and the eagerness of the modern generation to marry and settle down and have baby before the age of thirty have given rise to such public events. The prospective husbands were instructed to measure the bust size of the female they paired up with to know them better. There are tug of wars arranged as fun game. And women are even asked to remove makeup for the guys to have more realistic view.

Valentine's Day in Germany – In Germany, young valentines in courtship follow the ritual of presenting their lady loves with beautiful flowers along with love messages.

Valentine's Day in Denmark – Denmark celebrates its Valentine’s Day through its ritual of sending the lovers a card called “Lover’s Card”. In the olden days, these greetings cards were prepared in transparent sheets which when held against light depicted a lover handing a gift to his ladylove. Denmark has another remarkable and unique tradition of gifting pressed flowers white in colour to friends. They also have another tradition typical to the country. The Danish men are known to write an anonymous letter known as “gaekkebrev” that literally means a joking letter. In that letter, he writes a rhyme. But he does not sign the letter. He just scribbles some dots as sign in which a single dot is a representation of a letter of his name.

Thus Valentine’s Day brings happiness to all loving hearts in all parts of the world. No country is now free from its maddening merry-making.
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