2/14/15

Ever Wonder How Other Cultures Celebrate Valentine's Day? Check This Out...

Ever wonder how different cultures around the world celebrate Valentine's day, or if they even do?  Here are a few unique Valentine's Day traditions from around the world that are too cool not to mention!


Japan:
 The women are not only the Chocolate givers, but makers too!  In Japan the roles reverse with women giving men chocolates, some even make the chocolate! There are two types of chocolates,“Giri-choco", and “Honmei-choco”. “Giri” means obligation or no romance involved. Giri-Choco is bestowed upon friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends.  Honmei-choco, literally meaning "true-feeling chocolate" is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love. The Honmei-choco is usually prepared by the woman herself to show true love.


China:
The Chinese celebrate Valentine's day Much like Americans with romantic dinners and sensual gifts, just not on the same day! Chinese Valentine’s Day, falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, usually in early August!  

Philippines: Wanna get married... with hundreds of other couples?  In the Philippines, Valentine's Day is celebrated with "mass weddings". On Valentine's Day, hundreds of couples across the country come together to be married in colossal wedding ceremonies held across the Philippines.  In 2013,  an estimated 4,0000 couples were married!

 

Iraq:Though the holiday isn’t accepted everywhere in Iraq, those who do celebrate have developed a few of their own traditions. Iraqi Kurds believe in a feast of love. Specifically, that the preservation of a red apple with cloves representing Adam and Eve’s story, will bring prosperity and love.


South Africa:Some young South Africans celebrate Valentine’s Day by pinning the name of their Valentine to their sleeve. By the way, do you know where the phrase “to wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from? Although it was first recorded in the 1600s in Shakespeare’s play named Othello, during the Middle Ages a knight in battle would pin a lady’s handkerchief to his sleeve as a way of publicly proclaiming his love for her.


Estonia:
In Estonia, Valentine’s Day is called “Friend’s Day” so that single people are not left out of the festivities. While streets may still be decorated with hearts and other Valentine’s symbols, there is also an emphasis on nonromantic love, with friends and family members exchanging presents.



Guatemala: Valentine’s Day is known as El Día del Cariño in Guatemala, where celebrating love for friends and family is as important as a partner. Guatemala City gets into the spirit with lots of colorful pageantry, with revelers dressing up in feathered masks and Mayan-inspired clothing, as well as a senior citizen’s parade.

Italy- It should come as no surprise, that Italy is the Place to be on Valentine's Day. More specifically, Verona, a.k.a. the land of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. ON Valentine's day couples pour into the city for “Verona in Love.” The city organizes a number of events, including tours that retrace the tragic lovers’ footsteps, a contest for the best love letter to Juliet or a moment with Juliet’s statue for good fortune.Verona also boasts Renaissance gardens, vineyards, boutique hotels, cobblestone streets and countless candle-lit restaurants to further solidify their stake on being the land of lovers.


Where ever you are, however you celebrate, I pray you have a safe, kind Valentine's Day full of peace and love!



Do you have a fun or different way of celebrating Valentine's Day?  I make FTD his favorite breakfast, Eggs Benedict. 


In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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