Every corner of the globe has a particular soft spot for true feelings, that is, love. Valentine’s Day, on 14 February, is celebrated differently in every country, both near and far afield.
Every culture no doubt has their own unique way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, but every single one of them conveys the emotion felt by gazing into the eyes of your beloved, holding their hand or sharing your life with them.
So it’s interesting to find out how feelings and emotions are expressed in countries such as Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. In Italy we know that men and women exchange gifts of chocolates and roses with their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, especially red roses, though the gift of cosmetics, pieces of clothing and jewellery are growing in popularity.
But what in actual fact are the Valentine’s Day traditions in other countries? Let’s take a look at some of them:
Valentine’s Day celebrations are not solely the preserve of couples, but of the entire family. Every family member plays a part in this celebration in which the general affection or sentiment you feel for those you love is expressed, and not just for your partner. Children play an active part in preparing little tokens, who are content to make homemade cards to send to mum, dad, grandparents, teachers and friends. Shows and recitals are even organised at school. The most common gifts are chocolates, various sweet treats and muffins.
Valentine’s cards received by men and women in this country are initially anonymous, as tradition dictates. Only later will it be appropriate to reveal one’s identity, but piquing a smidgen of curiosity at first is suggested to preserve the mystique. Valentine’s Day is regarded as the day for declaring one’s love and so the typical sweet for this occasion is a liquorice heart.
In this country, 14 February is not the “Dia dos Namorados”, which is in fact celebrated on 12 June, the eve of the Feast of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of marriage. In actual fact, on this day, single women perform popular rituals known as simpatias with a small statue of the saint in order to find prospective suitors.
In this country, it is traditional for women to give homemade chocolates to the men in their life to prove the sincerity of their feelings. Gifts are also given to fellow students, colleagues and friends as a token of gratitude and esteem. Men return the favour exactly a month later on 14 March, during a celebration known as “White Day”. On this day, only chocolates made of white chocolate are given.