With less than two weeks left in Valentine’s day the market and streets are flooded with flowers, hearts, chocolates, and other gift items. Valentine’s Day is typically a day to express your love. People on this day purchase red roses, chocolates and try to do many romantic things for their love ones. However, there are few countries which celebrate the day somewhat differently. Lets have a look on top 10 countries which have different tradition for 14th Feb and sometime these tradition are strange:
1. South Korea
Valentine’s day is one of the popular holiday in South Korea. The important thing is the Valentine’s day is not celebrated on a single day i.e 14th Feb rather its starts on that day and continuous throughout April. In South Korea, gift giving starts on 14th Feb when its upto women to woo their men with chocolates and gifts and in return they get the gifts from men on 14th March which is called as White Day.
The interesting part is those who don’t have partners to celebrate, there is another day called “Black Day”. On this day it is a custom wherein all singles mourn on their single status by eating dark bowls of jajangmyeon, or black bean paste noodles. “Black Day” is celebrated on 14th April.
Valentine’s day is relative new in Denmark as it was started in 1990s only. However, people of Denmark have their own style of celebrating the day. On this day, men sends a gaekkebrev, a letter consisting of funny poems and rhyme to women. The best part is that the letter is send anonymously and is only signed with some dots. If woman who receives the gaekkebrev can correctly guess the sender, she earns herself an Easter egg later that year.
Another way in which people of Denmark celebrate the day is by gifting pressed white flowers called snowdrops.
Originally Italians used to celebrate the day as Spring festival wherein all youngsters used to gather outside in gardens and used to enjoy poetry reading and music with their love ones.
Another tradition is that on this day, unmarried girls used to wake up early before dawn to spot their future husband. It is a belief that that first man a women saw on Valentine’s day will be the one whom she will marry or her future husband will be strongly resemble that person.
In 1700s, on the eve of Valentine’s day women in England used to keep five bay leaves below their pillows, one at each corner and one at center. It was belief that this will bring them dreams of their future husband. Now the tradition is although considered as a folklore and not done but still can be seen sometimes.
In Norfolk, in the east of England, there is a different tradition wherein a mysterious person popularly known as “Jack Valentine” or “Father of Love” will knock at children’s door and will treat them with gifts and chocolates. Although children don’t catch a glimpse of Old Father Valentine, they enjoy the candies and small gifts left on their porches.
France is considered as one of the most romantic place in the world. However the tradition of Valentine’s day celebration once used to be completely different from the rest of the world. On this day event called loterie d’amour, or “drawing for love” was celebrated wherein single Men and Women of all age would gather in house that are faced opposite to each other and then take turns calling out to one another until they are paired off. If men didn’t like their match they would simply leave the women for another men to call. As a part of tradition, women that did not got the match will gather around bonfire in which they would toss pictures and objects of the men who rejected them. Later the event became so uncontrollable that the French government eventually banned the tradition all together.