Arts & Reviews

Valentine’s Day Celebrations Around the World

By: Sandra Benlian

For most people, and more prominently couples, the month of February in America is known for its fourteenth day, which many call Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a special day for relationships, when people spend time with their loved ones, and give them lots of gifts and affection. However, in different countries, some cultures have their own intriguing traditions for the special day.

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In Japan, the day consists of women giving their male counterparts chocolates, whether they be male friends, colleagues, or bosses. These chocolates usually don’t have a romantic association, and anyone can partake. During March 14th, which is known as “White Day,” men return the favor in a similar fashion

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In Korea, they also celebrate “White Day.” However, for the single folk, there is an alternate “Black Day,” which is during April 14. All the lonely people gather together to eat Jajangmyeon Noodles, which are black, and many usually dress in black as well!

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In Germany, celebrations are pretty similar to America, including the gifts of flowers and heart shaped items exchanged. However, a popular gift there is the pig! In Germany, this animal represents luck and lust, and can be given in any form including photos, statues, chocolates, etc.

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In Italy, the day is celebrated by a Spring Festival, during which music is played, poems are read, and gifts are exchanged. One popular gift is the “Baci Perugina,” which is a box filled with hazelnut chocolates, accompanied by a love quote, printed in four different languages.

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Taiwan, known for their beautiful flowers, celebrates the day both on February 14 and July 7. The different flowers men give their loved ones reflect different meanings based on the amount and color. For example, magnolias represent beauty, orchids can symbolize marriage, and the colors pink and red represent celebration, good luck, and happiness.

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France, home of Paris a.k.a “the city of love,” credits itself with the origin of Valentine’s cards. It is said that the Duke of Orleans, Charles, had signed his poem as “Your Valentine.”

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