Valentine's across the world
How do other countries celebrate Valentines Day
Although some may question the origins of Valentine's Day, its popularity has spread around the world with may countries celebrating the saints day
in weird and wonderful ways.
In Japan, women make the first move on Valentine’s Day. They give men gifts of two different types of chocolate; one is called Giri-choco, the other is Honmei- choco. Giri-choco is the most costly but Honmei-choco tends to be home made and given more as a gift to a loved one.
Men return the gesture on March 14. Known as White Day, men give women white chocolate and other white gifts as a sign of their affection.
As in Japan, women in South Korea give gifts to men on Valentine’s Day (14 February), while men celebrate White Day. South Korea has a third holiday, however, known as Black Day. Celebrated on April 14, single friends gather to eat noodles and celebrate being single.
Brazil's Carnival celebration overshadows Valentine’s Day. So as not to miss out, Brazilians mark a similar day later in the year, on June 12. The holiday is called Dia dos Namorados, or Lovers’ Day. Flowers, cards, gifts and romantic meals are offered, but instead of St Valentine, the Brazilians celebrate St Anthony's Day.
In Slovenia, St Valentine is the patron saint of spring, so many spend Valentine's Day in fields preparing crops. Slovenians typically celebrate romance a month later, on St. Gregory’s Day, which falls on March 12.
Finland and Estonia
February 14 is also a popular day to get engaged in both Finland and Estonia. Additionally, Estonia has an interesting tradition for single people— they can take a ride on the Love Bus in hopes of meeting someone special. Friend’s Day is held on February 14, a day for honouring both friends and significant others. Cards and gifts are still given out, and can be for anyone from a best friend to a neighbour.
Danes celebrate Valentine’s Day with the snowdrop flower. They give the flowers to both friends and lovers. One of the biggest Danish Valentine’s Day traditions is the exchange of a lover’s card.