Valentine's Around the World
In America, each Valentine’s Day is a ritual of eating chocolate and being loved. If you’re lucky this Valentine’s Day, it’s your significant other buying the chocolate and stuffed animals for you. But if you’re single, it may mean you are buying the clearance chocolate and watching a movie. Regardless, we all know how it happens in America, but other countries have other traditions when it comes to this holiday!
While we sign our names with hearts above the i’s and take credit for our lovely poetry on Valentine’s Day, people in the United Kingdom carry on the old tradition of sending anonymous cards. They take the middle school phrase “I have a secret admirer” to an even greater level.
In other parts of England, they go a little further with the secret admirer fun and leave sweets on doorsteps of their loved ones, rendering the recipient guessing as to who left them there.
Valentine’s Day is banned because of the usual happenings on the romantic day. Any form of public affection is unlawful by religious police, and genders are highly segregated.
The color red, too, is now banned around February 14. If the color is found in the windows of shops known for previously selling Valentine’s Day goods, police will investigate.
In America, we use Valentine’s Day to recognize the person that we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Meanwhile in Estonia, they celebrate “Friend’s Day” so that everyone feels special!
While all the couples eat romantic dinners, the single Scottish men and women play a game: they throw a little get-together to try and find their perfect match! Each person puts their name on a piece of paper and throws it into a hat. They draw names and then must mingle with that person for the rest of the night. Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to mean lasting love; rather, it can stand for new love!
Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, but in South Korea, it’s a three-month affair! Starting on February 14, women start the gift-giving by purchasing lots of traditional Valentine’s Day gifts. Then a month later on March 14, it’s the men’s turn to do the gift-buying.
Much like in Scotland, South Korea does pay homage to the single citizens. April 14 marks Black Day, which is where people not in a relationship eat dark noodles to honor their single status.
No matter your relationship status or culture, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Alexis is currently a freshman at Pace University - Pleasantville, and majoring in Communications with a minor in Public Relations and Marketing. She has a multitude of different cultures in her: German, Belgian, French, Norwegian, Greek, and English, and she appreciates each and every part of it. Besides embracing her culture, Alexis enjoys being involved on her college campus in a variety of organizations. Her main passion lies in women empowerment and she hopes to leave a mark on the world one day.
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