Whether you love Valentine’s Day or loathe it, you will surely struggle to ignore it completely as Brits everywhere do their best to make the day genuinely special for their other (perhaps better) half!
Shops, supermarkets and even petrol garage forecourts have become filled with all manner of cards and heart-shaped gifts for budgets of all shapes and sizes.
While many of us may consider it perfectly acceptable to spend our hard earned cash on a variety of novelty gifts including flowers and chocolates and romantic dinners to name but a few, not every country celebrates the world’s most romantic day in exactly the same way.
Us romantics at Protect your bubble have been taking a look into the different ways in which love and romance are celebrated around the world… In our opinion, here were some of the most interesting:
Wales – The Welsh people like to do things a little differently than their British neighbours when it comes to romance, celebrating their own version of Valentine’s Day on January 25th (St Dwynwen’s Day). St Dwynwen was the Welsh patron saint of lovers and friendship, and the day sees both children and adults throughout the country exchanging cards to mark the occasion. Wales is also where the idea of the ‘Love spoon’ originated. It is a charming tradition that involves men giving their loved ones a wooden spoon with symbols and personal messaged engraved on it.
Russia – The Russian men certainly know how to treat their ladies. On the 8th of March every year, women everywhere are given flowers and chocolates and even the day off work simply for being female! This is definitely worth waiting the extra few weeks for if you ask us!
Japan – In Japan it’s the women that give men the gifts on February 14th. Chocolate is traditionally given by women to potential partners as well as male friends. Thankfully there are two kinds of chocolate depending on whether it is given with romantic intent or simply as a friendly gift, to save any potential for confusion. However, on March 14th (known as White day) there is an intriguing twist as men are obliged to return the favour. White chocolate and marshmallows are notably popular as the male population of Japan strive to make sure they keep the woman in their life as happy as possible.
Brazil – It would appear that the Brazilians have more patience than us Brits when it comes to affairs of the heart. Instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14th, they wait until June 12th for a day which they call Dia dos Namorados (Day of the Enamored).
Germany – The German population got involved in the Valentine’s Day festivities a little later than the rest of us. In fact, it is thought that the celebrations only really began after the Second World War ended. While they also celebrate February 14th with the traditional chocolates and flowers, the Germans have some rather interesting traditions of their own. For example, pigs are often featured on gifts as a symbol of luck and lust. Frosted gingerbread cookies displaying heartfelt messages are also very popular on the big day.
Mexico – The men of Mexico have a rather elaborate way of displaying their affection to their special someone. In the evening of Valentine’s Day, a man will traditionally go to their partner’s house with a mariachi band or trio of singers to serenade their lady while standing beneath her window. Does it get any more romantic than that?
China – The Chinese Valentine’s celebrations take place on the 7th day of the 7th Lunar month. This is (unsurprisingly) known as the ‘Night of the sevens’. Although gift-giving is not as big as it is in Britain, the Chinese do celebrate with an annual festival in which there are a number of charming traditions. On this day, unmarried couples can visit the Matchmaker’s temple where they pray for marriage and ever-lasting love amongst other things. Singletons are not left out though, as they can pray for love to come their way. Young girls are also encouraged to pray to the weaving maid as it is widely believed that a girl who shows a skill for handcrafts is ready for marriage.