Valentine’s Day Around The World
The following is an article “Valentine’s Day Around The World” by Marc Primo.
The language of love might be a universal one but when traveling the world, countries in various parts of this earth each have their own unique way of celebrating the day of hearts commonly known as Valentine’s Day.
The following are different ways of observing February 14 all around the world:
Koreans have a three-pronged approach to Valentine’s Day. It all begins on February 14, when, sort of like Bumble, women make the first move by wooing the object of their affections with chocolates or flowers. Then, on March 14, it is the turn of the gents to make the moves on what is known as White Day, wherein they need to take things to a different level aside from shower their sweethearts with gifts. Not forgetting the singles, April 14 is the last in the series celebrated by those who are unlucky in love or are single by choice, wherein they eat, quite aptly, a bowl of black noodles known as jajangmyeon.
With its capital city Paris widely considered to be the most romantic city in the world, it is no surprise that the very first recorded Valentine’s Card originated from France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London over 600 years ago. Today, Valentine's Day remains a popular holiday in France and is celebrated much in the same way as it is in the U.S. It has come a long way since its “loterie d’amour” days, wherein men and women would rendezvous in houses to check their compatibility. Men who weren’t happy with their matches could simply leave the woman for another, while unmatched women would get together for a bonfire and show their disdain for the opposite sex.
A relative newbie to Valentine’s Day, the Danes only started celebrating February 14 in the nineties, while giving it a special Danish twist. Instead of a bouquet of red roses commonly exchanged in other Western nations, sweethearts and loved ones present each other with pressed white flowers called “snowdrops” to celebrate their love. And to give continuity to Valentine’s Day, a female recipient of a gaekkebrev, a humorous poem handwritten on intricately cut paper and cryptically signed with dots that are difficult to decipher, who correctly guess the sender earns herself an Easter egg later that year.
Filipinos are a hopelessly romantic people and it shows with the apocalyptic traffic jams that swell up every Valentine’s Day. And because one day of the year dedicated to celebrating love is not enough, more and more Filipinos choose February 14 as their wedding day—with more and more babies being born in September, nine months later.
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