Valentine’s Day: Around the World
Love will be in the air this February, but not just in the UK. Have you ever wondered how our friends overseas celebrate? Well, I just did, and here is a small guide to Valentine’s Day, around the world…
In this country – it’s all about the men on Valentine’s Day. It is a woman’s job to give chocolates to those they love. It’s not just their husbands and boyfriends that get treats, women give chocolates to their friends and colleagues as a mark of respect and admiration. Each type of chocolate means something different, and represent their level of relationship. Home-made chocolates are the best- men who receive these are the luckiest of all! Japanese women are celebrated on a separate day later on in the year. This is called ‘White Day’, and is a chance for men to reciprocate all the love they received on Valentine’s.
Just like the Japanese, South Koreans have two separate celebrations too – Valentine’s Day for men and White Day for women. However they also have one more day. Black day – a day for single people! Anyone else think we should steal this idea? On Black Day, single people meet each other in restaurants and eat black noodles together. It is seen as a consolation meal, where sympathy is expressed, but hey, they get noodles out of it! In fact, South Koreans dedicate the 14th day of each month to things they love. October 14th is wine day – now that’s something else we should definitely get involved in!
For the Danish and Norwegians, Valentine’s Day is a very mysterious time. The men send women ‘Gaekkebrev’ which are funny little poems or love notes that rhyme. They send them anonymously, with just the number of letters in their name as a clue to who it’s from. Women have to guess who sent them the poem. If they guess correctly their Valentine will reveal their identity on Easter Sunday and present an Easter egg as a reward. If they guess incorrectly, their true Valentine will be be owed an Easter egg from the woman. I just don’t know how they handle all the suspense?!
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship more than romance. Even the name of the day, ‘Ystavan Paiva’ translates as ‘Friendship Day’, awww! It is a day for giving gifts and meeting up with friends. It is also a popular day to propose or get married.
Traditionally, Welsh men presented their women, not with chocolates or flowers, but love-spoons (yes, the cutlery kind). Men would intricately decorated carved wooden spoons and present them to their Valentine. The different symbols carved on the spoons would mean different things. A wheel would represent that he is hard-working, and a key would be the key to his heart. There would also be beads attached, each bead representing how many children the man desired, (talk about forward!) In some areas of Wales, this tradition is even carries on today!
So you would be wrong in thinking that Valentine’s Day is just a day of hearts and flowers, it is also a day to celebrate friendship, give out mysterious love poems and carve spoons. Let us know how you will celebrating with #JustSinglesDates and we will retweet the ones we love <3
Until next time,
The Loved-Up Just Singles Team