Valentine’s traditions from around the world
With Valentine’s Day coming up this month, love is in the air. For some of us, Valentine’s traditions have come to mean flowers, chocolates, red hearts and romance. However, this is not true of every country and the festival of love is celebrated in all sorts of fascinating and interesting ways. Here's a look at how different countries celebrate Valentine’s Day around the world.
In China, they have their own version of Valentine’s Day called Qixi, or the ‘Seventh Night Festival’, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year. During Qixi, it is tradition for young single women to prepare offerings of melon and fruits to the heavenly King Zhinu, in hopes of finding a husband.
In Korea, it's traditionally the role of the women to give gifts of flowers and chocolates to men. The men then return the favour to their ladies the following month on 14th March. For those still waiting to find their soulmate, Koreans also observe “Black Day” on 14th April, when singles get together to eat black jajangmyeon noodles.
Here, the focus is more on friendship than love. In Finland, Ystävänpäivä, (translates as Friendship Day) people exchange cards and gifts to show appreciation of their friends with the greeting ‘Happy Friends Day’.
The Welsh don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but St Dwynwen’s Day (the patron saint of lovers) on 25th January. It is customary for lovers to present each other with a hand carved love spoon, a St Dwynwen’s day gift.
In Germany, it's tradition for lovers to gift each other large gingerbread heart cookies. Pigs are also a symbol of luck and lust on Valentine’s Day and you’ll find miniature pig statues amongst the flowers and chocolates in the shops!