How Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world

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How Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world

Love is an international language, but the way love is expressed differs around the world. Artist Marie Muravsk has beautifully illustrated how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in various countries. See how she depicts everything from the Chinese festival of Qixi to Argentina’s “Sweetness Week”.
Got the lockdown doldrums? So do we. With Valentine’s day on the way and a little bit of romance is just so uplifting. Have you ever wondered how this day is celebrated around the world?

1Wales, UK
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Wales
A nation famed for their passion, the Welsh celebrate love on January 25th – St Dwynwen’s Day. Intricately carved wooden spoons, known as lovespoons, are often exchanged between lovers in a tradition that dates from the 16th century.

2Valencia, Spain
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Spain
For Valencians the most romantic day of the year falls on 9th October, the Day of Saint Dianysius, the patron saint of love. To mark this festive occasion, many festivals and parades are held and traditionally men offer their partner a Mocadora – marzipan figurines – as a token of their love.

3Miao, South West China
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Southwest China
During the Sister’s Meal Festival women cook an assortment of colourful rice dishes which are wrapped in silk and offered to serenading suitors. The fate of the relationship rides upon the item found within the rice. Two chopsticks mean love, but a clove of garlic means the romance is over before it even started.

4South Korea
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: South Korea
The romantic South Koreans celebrate love on the 14th of every month – not just February! These days include May’s Rose Day, June’s Kiss Day, December’s Hug Day & April’s Black Day when singletons congregate to console themselves over Jajangmyeon – black noodles.

5South Africa
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: South Africa
Based on the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, young women will pin the name of their crush to their sleeve for all to see. Sometimes the subtle approach of an anonymous card just doesn’t get the job done!

6Romania
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Romania
Celebrated on the 24th February, Dragobete, also known as ‘The day the birds are betrothed,’ is a mixture of Valentine’s Day & a celebration of Spring. Girls and boys head out to the forest to pick flowers, whilst others wash their face in snow to bring health & happiness.

7The Philippines
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Philippines
Valentine’s Day is a popular occasion for mass weddings where hundreds, sometimes even thousands, will tie the knot in unison. These huge events are often sponsored by the government as a form of public service.

8Japan
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Japan
Whilst in most nations it is the women that are spoilt on Valentine’s Day, in Japan it is the men that receive gifts of chocolate. It is not until March 14th, known as White Day that men can choose to return the favour.

9Ghana
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: Ghana
Since 2007, Feb 14th has also been known as National Chocolate Day in an attempt to boost tourism to one of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries. Special chocolate themed menus, exhibitions and talks can be found all around the country.

10St Valentin, France
Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World: France
Between the 12th and 14th of February, the aptly titled ‘Village of Love’ [click for map] transforms into the epicentre of romance. Expect houses decked in roses, trees covered in love notes, multiple marriage proposals and the chance to plant your own lovers’ tree.

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