Valentine’s Day is almost here but what other countries celebrate it? And when?Well, here is a top 8 list with countries celebrating their version of Valentine’s day.
Although some countries have other dates in which they celebrate their most filled with love day of the year, different names for it or different customs, one things remains the same: Valentine’s Day is a day in which people express their love for one another.
The Finnish have started celebrating Valentine’s Day only since the 80s but it has grown into a beloved annual event. The Finnish word for Valentine’s Day is “Ystävänpäivä” and it translates into the day of friendship. Finland focuses more on giving postcards or sweet, small things to everyone you consider a friend rather to just one loved one.
In Slovenia, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 12th of March and it marks the day in which work at the vineyards and on the field starts. Following almost the same principles as Norwegians, as you are about to see below, Slovenians consider their most filled with love day of the year to be the day in which birds declare love or even propose to each other. Yes, birds.
Romanians celebrate their own take on Valentine’s Day on the 24th of February and it is called “Dragobete”. However, despite having their own day to celebrate love, Romania has recently started celebrating the westernized take on Valentine’s Day as well. Many people who still like to live by the old Romanian traditions refuse to celebrate the American Valentine’s Day though.
In Norway, the legend says that if you see birds mating on Valentine’s Day, it is a sign of spring and love so Norwegians are always busy trying to catch birds doing sexual stuff to each other on the 14th of February. Since Norway is considering Valentine’s Day as an annual event, you can also spot window displays and event dedicated to this day filled with love.
In Chinese tradition, Valentine’s Day happens on day 7 of the 7th lunar month in the traditional Chinese calendar. On this day, all kind of people but especially young women go to the local temple and pray to the god called Zhinu for wisdom and love. The Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated through several rituals and prayers.
Japanese people always find a way to step out of the ordinary and Valentine’s Day makes no exception. During the Japanese Valentine’s Day which is on the 14th of February women and girls give either store bought or handmade chocolate to men and boys. One month later, on the 14th of March, they celebrate the “White Day” during which men offer gifts back to the women. Typical gifts for White Day are marshmallows, sweets, jellies and even white pieces of clothing such as white lingerie.
Talking about a bit out of the ordinary, French people used to have a tradition in which women were allowed to cheat on their husbands or boyfriends during Valentine’s Day. Moreover, the man was almost obliged to go with it and not take any sort of revenge on the woman. Another weird custom was one in which single women and men gathered together and paired off. If the man didn’t like his chosen Valentine by the end of the date, he could desert her and all the deserted women were able to light up a bonfire during the night and burn the pictures of the guys they hated.
Brazilians celebrate their day of love on the 12th of June. On the day before the day of love, women write down their crushes’ names on pieces of paper which they then fold and place in a container such as a jar or a hat. On the 12th of June, each woman has to pick one piece of paper and the name they pick supposedly belongs to the man they will eventually marry or at least choose to go for.
Some countries such as Saudi Arabia have banned Valentine’s Day and they punish severely whoever tries to celebrate it so lovers have to buy each other small gifts or flowers in secret. No matter how much you hate or love this holiday, be grateful that there is no one out there who prohibits you from celebrating it.