“Nearly three-quarters of men will buy flowers on Valentine’s Day.”– Serenata Flowers
So, it’s February 14, the day you practice all you have been preaching about love. If you’re not a believer in Valentine’s Day, you can still go ahead and show love anyway.
So, in the spirit of adventure, let’s take a trip to other parts of the world to understand how they show love on this remarkable day.
One day is never enough for the passionate people of Argentina as they devote an entire week in July to the festival of love. They call it ‘Sweetness week’. Usually, between the 13th and 20th, lovers exchange kisses for candy and finish up the week of celebrations with a friendship day as well.
Finland and Estonia:
Lovers in these regions slow things right down on Valentine’s Day, as they instead opt for a friendlier celebration called Ystävän Päivä in Finnish and Sõbrapäev in Estonian. For them, February 14 is all about celebrating friendship, and people exchange presents and cards with the greeting ‘Happy Friends Day’.
Who else knows how to love than the French! Now for these ones, there’s a twist. Une loterie d’amour saw hopeful singles line up in houses facing each other and call through the windows until they eventually paired up. Those women who were left partner-less then built a large bonfire, ceremoniously burning images of the men who rejected them whilst hurling insults into the sky. Things began to get unruly and the French government decided to ban the practice altogether. These days cheese, croissants, chocolate and champagne passes hands to celebrate amour.
Every year on Valentine’s Day, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of couples come together to be married en masse in public places. Often, the celebrations are sponsored by the government as a public service, allowing underprivileged couples the opportunity to tie the knot.
In Slovenia, where St Valentine is one of the patron saints of spring, February 14 marks the first day of working in the fields for the New Year. It’s believed that this is the day that plants start to regenerate just as one of their proverbs says “St Valentine brings the keys of roots”.
In Japan, it’s the girls who spoil the object of their affections with chocolates, but it’s the type of chocolate given that counts. When White Day comes around on March 14, those who received honmei-choco (as it is locally called) are expected to return the sweet favour by giving their loved ones presents worth two to three times the chocolates they received, like jewellery or fancy underwear.
Love is a wonderful thing. So, show it and share it especially on a day that all lovers agree to do something extra special.
IBIENE wishes you a happy Valentine’s Day.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.