Top Valentine’s Day Traditions around the World
To some people, Valentine’s Day is just a ‘Hallmark holiday’, while others take it very seriously.
Judging by the traditions discussed below, it’s clear that Valentine’s Day celebrations have been present around the world a lot longer than Hallmark has been in business. Today, we go over some of those traditions and what single women used to do on ‘Lovers’ Day’ to attract the opposite sex in the hopes of marrying. It’s a good thing girls don’t throw mass bonfires in anger due to rejection anymore like they used to do in France and try to find love online in a much more peaceful manner instead! 😉
Viewed by many as one of the most romantic countries in the world, it’s no wonder that people have celebrated Valentine’s Day or ‘Lovers’ Day’ for centuries in France. It’s possible that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned at the Tower of London in 1415.
Another rather peculiar French tradition was the ‘loterie d’amour’ or ‘drawing for love’. Men and women would fill houses that faced one another, and then take turns calling out to one another and creating couples. Men who weren’t satisfied with their match could reject it and leave with another woman, and the women who were left without a match would later gather for a bonfire.
During the bonfire, women burned pictures of the men who wronged them and cursed the opposite sex.
This tradition became so violent that it was eventually banned by the government.
Paris is the city of love so it’s only natural that it’s had a number of traditions where sweethearts openly confessed their love despite the fact that some of them are now prohibited. The love locks tradition was very popular up until a few years ago and it was characterized by couples in love inscribing their names or initials on a padlock, attaching it to a public structure, usually a bridge, and throwing away the key – permanently sealing their love. The Pont des Arts was everyone’s favorite site for attaching the love locks, but in May 2015 the city council decided to remove all 45 tons of them because they were an eyesore and detrimental to the city’s architecture.
Much like their French counterparts, Italians have long celebrated Valentine’s Day but originally the celebrations were part of the Spring Festival. In the early days, young people in love would gather in gardens and similar places to enjoy poetry readings and music before going for a walk with their beloved.
Another old Valentine’s Day tradition in Italy was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man they saw on Valentine’s Day would become their husband within a year or at least he would strongly resemble their future husband.
Today, Italians in love exchange gifts and romantic dinners. One of the most popular gifts is Baci Perugina, which are small hazelnuts covered in chocolate and wrapped in paper with a romantic quote printed on it in four languages.
Given that the carnival takes place in February or March each year, Brazilians skip the February 14th celebrations but don’t skip celebrating ‘Lover’s Day’ or ‘Dia dos Namorados’ on June 12th.
They exchange chocolates, flowers, and cards, and enjoy music festivals and performances held throughout the country. Also, Brazilians exchange gifts with their friends and family as well.
Finally, the following day is Saint Anthony’s Day, which honors St. Anthony, the patron saint of marriage. On this day, single women perform rituals called ‘simpatias’, hoping that St. Anthony would bring them a husband.
People in the Philippines celebrate Valentine’s Day like their Western counterparts, with one bit of difference. A new tradition has developed over the years where many young couples tie the knot on February 14 thus sharing a wedding day, and usually have their ceremonies in public places together.
In South Africa, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a more or less expected way with festivals, flowers, and similar tokens of love. However, women in South Africa will wear their hearts on their sleeves on February 14 by pinning the names of their crushes on their shirtsleeves, revealing who they like.
This is how men find out about their secret admirers.
Wow! These sound like some fascinating traditions to keep!
Thank you, Dating Connections, for such an illuminating article…just in time to get us in the mood for the upcoming holiday! ♥♥♥
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Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!
Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime.
As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!