Valentine’s Day has never been a public holiday, but people all over the world celebrate it significantly. Valentine’s Day tradition developed in early modern England in the 19th century, then from the 20th to early 21st centuries, it has spread to other countries. Let’s take a look at how some countries celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving cards, gifts, and flowers. In fact, 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. They also love having a romantic meal in a restaurant or spending the night in a hotel.
The rich culture of Spain has various rituals and customs in expressing love, but a newer tradition has emerged. Lovers symbolise their undying love by fastening a padlock to the railing of the bridge of Puente de Isabel II located in the city of Seville; then they will throw the keys to the Guadalquivir river.
It is believed that Valentine’s Day started in France although the origins are still unknown. People visit the village of St. Valentin on the weekend that falls closest to Valentine’s Day. Some couples renew their weddings vows, and a lot of lovers visit the Pont de l’Archevêché to leave a lock and throw the key into the Seine river as a ritual that signifies a love that will last forever.
Germans celebrate Valentine’s Day by men asking women for a date. Men should bring flowers as they pick up their date, but should also bring flowers for the woman’s mother. They also love to give gifts including a pig which they consider as a symbol of luck.
Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day differently because it is usually the women who give chocolates to men to show their affection. In return, men will have the chance to give women chocolates on their White Day celebration which is on the 14th of March.
On Valentine’s Day, Taiwanese men are expected to give their special someone a bouquet of flowers which represents an important message depending on the colours and number of flowers. Giving red roses means “only love’, a bouquet of 99 roses expresses “love forever”, and offering 108 roses asks the romantic question “Will you marry me?”
Just like other countries, people in the UK celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving gifts, flowers, cards and chocolates, but there are customs like children singing special songs and then rewarded with candies, fruits or money. Another tradition is the baking of Valentine buns with caraways, seeds, plums or raisins which is believed to be a celebration of agrarian productivity.
Whatever traditions you may have in celebrating Valentine’s Day, let us not forget to express love every day in any way that we can and share it unconditionally.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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