Valentine's Day Traditions Around The World

felt heart in front of Eiffel Tower

Love is in the air, and also, around the corner. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, people get busy buying flowers, teddy bears, chocolate boxes, and other romantic items that we normally associate with this day. However, not everyone celebrates it the same way, and that’s why in this article we’ve compiled a collection of Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.

1. Brazil

Brazilians dedicate the month of February to one of their biggest celebrations: Carnival. Remember Rio De Janeiro’s parade? With all that dancing and colorful floats filling the streets of Rio, there’s little time left for Valentine’s Day in February.

But Brazilians know love and celebrate their Dia Dos Namorados (Lovers’ Day) on June 12th. Just like on Valentine’s Day, Brazilians exchange gifts, chocolates, and flowers, but on this day, cities also host concerts and other events for everyone. Additionally, Dia Dos Namorados is not just for lovers but also a way to show appreciation to friends and relatives.

2. Mexico

Similar to Brazil, Mexicans also believe that Valentine’s Day is to be celebrated with everyone, including friends and family. That’s why, in Spanish, this day is known as Día del Amor y La Amistad (The Day of Love and Friendship) for Mexicans. This day has less of a commercial meaning and represents more of a time to spend with those people we care most about.

And although Valentine’s Day is not technically a Mexican tradition, just like other civilizations with deities devoted to love (Venus/Aphrodite), the mexica or Aztecs also had love goddesses known as Xochipilli and Xochiquetzal.

3. France

Paris is known as the City Of Love and it’s said that the first Valentine’s Day card actually originated in France when the Duke of Orleans, Charles, would send love letters to his imprisoned wife.

If you want to profess your love to that special someone, spending a romantic time walking the streets of Paris may be the ultimate act of love. The city hosts several activities and other options listed in the Paris city guide.

4. South Korea

Did you know South Koreans are some of the most romantic people in the world? Not only do they celebrate Lovers’ Day on February 14th, they have a day dedicated to love every 14th of each month! The monthly festivities go as follows: May is Rose Day, June is Kiss Day, December is Hug Day, and on April they have Black Day for single people to get together.

5. Argentina

With those sensual tango moves, it was expected that Argentinians would know how to romantically celebrate this day, and it’s no surprise they would have a spot in this list of Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.

The romanticism of this day goes beyond February 14th as Argentinians set aside a whole week for love known as “Sweetness Week,” where people exchange sweets for kisses. While this was founded as a marketing strategy by a confectionery shop, it was quickly accepted and embraced by people in Argentina.

6. China

The Chinese have an equivalent of Valentine’s Day known as Qixi. It takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar. It’s been told that, in old China, there were two lovers who could not be together due to social status. However, they were allowed to see each other once a year. Yes, precisely on the day Qixi is celebrated today. Those who are single hope that Qixi will bring them the love of their life, while those who have a partner give thanks on this day and pray for prosperity.

7. The Philippines

Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wedding? That’s exactly what thousands of Filipinos do. It’s common to have a mass wedding celebration on February 14th in the Southeast Asian country. Many times, these events are hosted by governments as a public service and allow for hundreds to even thousands of couples to tie the knot on this special day.

Now that you’ve learned some of the most popular Valentine’s Day traditions around the world, you may want to celebrate February 14th with a different twist this year. Surprise your loved one in a creative way, either by taking him/her on a trip to a romantic destination or doing something special for a whole week like Argentinians do.

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