February 6, 2015
Valentine’s Day Traditions Across The Globe
By Nicole Heubusch
Valentine’s Day has been a tradition in the United States for over 100 years, celebrated with chocolates, flowers and romantic dinners. Other countries around the world have similar celebrations incorporating unique ways to show someone they care. Show us how you celebrate Valentine’s Day by using the hashtag
#OspreyValentine on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
According to stvalentinesday.org, the Danish celebrate Valentine’s Day with humor. They send gaekkebrew (joke letters) to their Valentines. The paper is cut into the shape of a snowflake and inscribed with a rhyme or poem. They use dots to sign their name instead of a signature, and if their recipient guesses the right person as their admirer they receive an egg at Easter.
According to internationalteflacademy.com, in Germany, Valentine’s Day is more centered on adults and the kids do not exchange valentines at school. Valentine’s Day was not celebrated in Germany until after World War II. A symbol for Valentine’s Day in Germany is a pig, because it represents luck, so most of the gifts exchanged, like chocolates and flowers, come with a toy or stuffed pig as well.
According to internationalteflacademy.com, Japan is unique in the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated because there are two days of gift giving. On February 14, women give chocolates to the men they admire. There are two different types of chocolates given, Giri Chocolate, which is given in a non-romantic way to friends and coworkers, and Honmei Chocolate, which is give to men they love. Then, on March 14, men reciprocate their feelings by giving gifts and chocolates.
According to travelblog.viator.com, South Africa traditionally observes Valentine’s Day in a similar way to the United States, but they also participate the old Roman Festival, Lupercalia, where young women pin the names of their sweethearts on their sleeves; hence the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve.”
According to internationalteflacademy.com, as one of the most romantic places in the world, France celebrates Valentine’s Day in a big way. Letters and cards are given to admirers, and this is a tradition that is said to have started in France. It is said that the Duke of Orleans, Charles, wrote his first Valentine’s Day to his wife when he was taken prisoner, and he signed it “Your Valentine.”