We all know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance due to Saint Valentine’s day. This day s dedicated to love and lovers. People exchange gifts, cards, candy, or flowers with their unique “valentine”. But what is exactly the origin and how it began to be such a celebration? We will take a trip and explore different cultures and how they celebrate this day. Some countries celebrate love on different dates or even twice a year!
Who is Valentine?
There are many stories about Valentine or Valentinus. Catholic Church recognizes at least 3 saints with this name, all of whom were martyred. During the third century in Rome, a priest named Valentine defied Emperor Claudius’ ilI decision and performed marriages in secret for young lovers. Why in secret? Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, as with no family he believed there were better soldiers. When he found out about Valentine’s actions, the Emperor ordered his death. Claudius II executed him on February 14 around 269 AD, history says. Ever since this day has been a day of remembrance of love.
Legend also has it that during Valentine’s imprisonment, he healed a girl name Julia from blindness. The miracle happened when they were both praying together. On the day of his execution, Valentine wrote a letter to Julia and signed it, “From your Valentine”.
Another story, claims that Valentine was a priest who was killed because he was helping Christians escape Roman prisons. The conditions in these prisons were harsh since the prisoners were tortured and beaten to death. Perhaps, these men are the same person. In all of these cases, it is quite clear the fact that Valentine was a romantic rebel (!).
How is Valentine’s Day Celebrated Around the World?
Interestingly enough Valentine’s day is not celebrated in the same manner around the world. Some counties with different traditions and cultures apply to this day. Keep on scrolling to find out more!
In Bulgaria, the 14th of February is celebrated as a day of winemakers, known as “San Trifon Zartan”. All couples express their love by sharing their favorite local wine. Cheers!
This special day is celebrated by sharing gifts like chocolate, cards, heart-shaped gifts in general, and pigs (!). Yes, that’s right, they gift pigs, as in Germany the pigs symbolize lust and luck. It doesn’t need to be a real pig, though, it can be given in many ways, like on cards, a bar of chocolate, or any other way you can imagine.
In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is a time for numerous youthful couples to tie the knot in a government-sponsored event as a public service. Wow, right? It is like a very special day for young people and a big gala event for the country.
Since the country is among the largest cocoa-producing countries in the world, Feb 14 is celebrated as “National Chocolate Day.” A step that was taken by the government in order to increase tourism. There are plenty of performances, music events, and restaurants that have themed menus for the special day. Sweet!
In Spain, they celebrate on a different day. More particularly, In Valencia, the day of love is celebrated on the 9th of October. A special festival is organized, known as the feast of Saint Dionysus. In most places of Spain, they make ‘macadora’, sweets made from marzipan, they are actually made by men in order to gift to their female companions. Apart from that, in some villages, one can also witness colorful parades on the streets dedicated to this day.
South West China:
An amazing and different celebration takes place in Miao, southwest China, on the 15th of March. It is called “Sisters’ Meal”. Women wear silver accessories and stunning dresses, and colored rice dishes are cooked and offered on silk fabric to young men on the streets. The fate of the beloved is determined by what’s found inside the object placed in the chosen rice. Two chopsticks symbolize love, while a clove of garlic signifies that the love has ended before it started. So straightforward, isn’t it? No waste of time!
On the 27th of February, in Romania young couples are getting engaged. It is a combination of two celebrations actually. Both Valentine’s day and the arrival of spring are honored on this special day. Colorful flowers are picked up from the forests by young men and women while others wash their faces with snow as a sign of good luck. Frigorific.
In Estonia, it is more of a friend’s celebration; a celebration for everyone both couples and singles. It is known as “Sobrapaev” and everyone exchanges gifts including members of a family. Wishing every day to be “Sobrapaev,” right?
Taiwan, claims to host the most romantic celebration in the world. Here, Valentine’s Day is celebrated twice a year here, February 14 and July 7 and men are expected to give flowers to their loved ones, with the number and color conveying a significant message. More flowers, more love!
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently. On February 14th, women give gifts and chocolates to their male partners or lovers. Men must wait until March 14th, known as “White Day”, to reciprocate the gifts. Great, enduring love!
No matter where you are and whether you are single or a couple, we encourage you to CELEBRATE this day!
A Likorette specially made for celebrating love and happiness. It’s a unique composition of coconut and strawberries, a combination that will surprise you! Try it after dinner as an appetizer or mix it with a cocktail of your liking. You will LOVE it.
10 Baffling Valentine’s Facts
- It’s celebrated differently around the world. (You already know it!)
- Alexander Graham Bell applies for telephone patent: 1876
- The bombing of Dresden,1945
- Jacqueline Kennedy shows off the White House in 1962.
- Valentine’s Day has its roots in an ancient Pagan festival.
- In the 1300s, it officially became a holiday associated with love.
- The tradition of giving Valentine’s Day flowers dates back to the 17th century.
- Nearly 250 million roses are grown in preparation for Valentine’s Day each year.
- The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was introduced in 1861.
- Four states have a city named Valentine (Arizona, Nebraska, Virginia, and Texas)