As commercialised as it may be, Valentine’s Day is nevertheless celebrated as a day of expressing those unadulterated emotions of love to your beloved. And if you thought the week-long-prequel to V-Day was dramatic enough in itself, let us remind you that people around the world consider it to be a much greater affair than you could perhaps fathom.
We bring you six unique ways in which Valentine’s Day is celebrated across these destinations.
Valentine’s day in Japan turns around the conventional concept of wooing–with women showering their partners with gifts and chocolates. Japan has for long, nurtured the tradition of gifting chocolates on Valentine’s Day. And that’s not all. Each of these chocolates signify a particular kind of relationship. For instance, a woman can gift ‘giri-choko’ or ‘obligation chocolate’ to people without romantic interest. The ‘honmei-choko’, on the other hand, is gifted only to lovers. Men however return the gesture by giving presents a month later on March 14, on White Day.
Unlike other countries, Valentine’s day celebration in Slovenia is not about mushy-romance. In Slovenia, this day marks the beginning of working in the fields and is observed as a spring festival.St. Valentine is considered one of the patron siants of spring. And it isn’t until March 12, St Gregory’s Day, that people celebrate their annual day of love.
For people in Estonia, Valentine’s Day is more about celebrating friendship. Called Sobrapaev, this day in Estonia is a day for all kinds of love celebrated among peers and family members.
Ghana has perhaps discovered the most delicious way of celebrating this day. For people in Ghana celebrate February 14 as Chocolate Day. One would find a lot of restaurants offering chocolate-themed menus and museums showcasing chocolate exhibits on this day. The actual motive is however to lure tourists to the place that is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers.
5.Denmark and Norway
These destinations have framed their own quirky little tradition that speaks romance in the most unique way. On Valentine’s Day, men send rhyming love notes or ‘Gaekkebrev’ to women anonymously, with only a set of dots matching the number of letters in the sender’s name. If she guesses the name, she receives and Easter Egg later that year. And if she fails, she owes him an egg instead!
Love directly translates into marriage on February 14 in Philippines. It is a day of mass wedding where hundreds of couples choose a location for their wedding ceremony and get married together.