Celebrating Valentine’s Day around the World

By: Ayla Valone

Valentine’s Day is a holiday when we all can show our love and affection for one another, whether that be with chocolatey sweets, flowers or jewelry. We enjoy spending time with the people we love. But what do people do in other countries? The Squire has looked into interesting traditions celebrated around the world, and found that the United States isn’t the only place with their own unique ways to celebrate love.

In South Korea, they dedicate three days to Valentine’s Day. On the annual February 14, the tradition is for the women to give the men chocolate as a sign of affection called honmei choko, and they will also give giri choko to the men they don’t have feelings for, like their co-workers for example. On asiasociety.org it says the men then, if interested, will give a gift in return the following month on March 14, which is called “White Day.” White Day was first celebrated just only thirty-five years ago in Japan. It was named after the gifts that are given, which are primarily white. Then on April 14, there is a day for single people called “Black Day.” They eat Jjajyangmyeon (black noodles), which are considered a comfort food, along with other single friends.

In Finland and Estonia, they celebrate a day for love and friendships. On everythingvalentinesday.com it says they call it “Friends Day,” and it is a month later on St. Gregory’s Day. Cards and gifts are still given out, and can be for anyone from your best friend to your neighbor. This day is also popular to get engaged in both countries. In Estonia, it is a popular tradition to take a ride on the love bus in hopes to meeting someone special. Also, in the capital of Estonia, a city called Tallinn, they hold a large feast and other celebrations.

On the small islands of the Philippines, every year on February 14 there is a mass amount of marriages. According to caremin.com, thousands of people will be exchanging vows to kick off this holiday. Venues will have many opportunities. There are flowers, wedding banquet, cake, possibly cash, gifts, and even wedding rings for the couples and their families free of charge, if they choose to take part in the mass marriage. Many people will be married this month in the Philippines, which makes February the most common month to be married.

However, to stay a little closer to home, The Squire interviewed sophomore Nataly Clark about how she spends her valentine’s day, she stated that she likes to spend time with her family and that she looks forward to the candy every year. The Squire also asked her to describe a perfect date. She told us that she thinks that going to Dairy Queen to get ice cream and going to watch a movie would be the perfect date.

Therefore, there are so many lovely traditions all over the world for Valentine’s Day. These few countries are just a taste of what is out there that we don’t see. So, this year, try something new and possibly try incorporating one of these new traditions into your Valentine’s Day.

 

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