Sun. Mar 24th, 2024

Cultural traditions to celebrate love

By Acacia Liu Feb 13, 2023

February 14 marks a day of celebration for couples and lovers from all around the world.

Valentine’s day originates from the Saint Valentine feast day celebration in ancient Rome.

It has evolved into a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of love and romance.

While it is most known for giving chocolates and flowers here in England, different countries have their own traditional take on this holiday.

Wales: Wooden love spoons

Each hand-carved love spoon is unique in shape and design. Credit: Geoff Wilkinson/Shutterstock

People in Wales have their own version of Valentine’s Day – St Dwynwen’s Day on January 25.

In the 16th century, Dwynwen became a nun after her ill-fated love with a local man named Maelon.

She wished for God to bless others with true love and wished that she would never marry.

In the present day, people celebrate by going out for a meal with their loved ones, and exchanging gifts, specifically hand-carved wooden love spoons as tokens of their love.

Bulgaria: Winemakers day

On Valentine’s Day, Bulgarians also celebrate St Trifon’s day, a day dedicated to wine-tasting and feasting.

Also known as the Winemaker’s Day, there is a ritual for vine-growers to trim back their vines and pour wine into the soil to ensure vitality for the growing season.

People gather around the vineyard to join the ceremony and drink wine.

Therefore, couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day would also come together and enjoy a glass of wine in honour of this tradition.

Denmark: Letters and poems with guessing game

Danes often include Galanthus plant, also known as snowdrops, in their Valentine’s letters. Credit: Wolfgang Soeldner/Shutterstock

Valentine’s Day celebration is relatively new in Denmark, but they already have their own unique spin to this lover’s day.

Pursuers send out “gaekkebrev”, translated loosely to “joke letters”, often coupled with spring flowers to confess their love. In the letter, an original poem is written on a cut design paper and signed with dots.

If the receiver can make out the identity of the sender, they will then receive an egg for Easter.

Japan and South Korea: Men get pampered

Rather than sending each other cards and gifts for Valentine’s Day, the women do all of the gift-giving, usually homemade chocolates wrapped in elaborate packaging, spoiling their male companion.

On the same day of the following month, March 14, the men will reciprocate with white gifts on White Day as a symbol of purity.

In South Korea, exactly a month after White Day is Black Day.

Single people gather and eat jajangmyeon, a traditional noodle dish topped with a black sauce to celebrate their wonderful friendship.

Philippines: Mass weddings

Filipino newlyweds kiss during a mass wedding in Manila Philippines. Credit: Francis R Malasig/Shutterstock

The Filipinos love to commemorate each holiday in extravagant ways, and Valentine’s Day is no different.

Each year, the local government hosts free mass weddings for couples who might not be able to afford a conventional wedding ceremony.

Therefore, it has become a tradition for couples to tie the knot on this day.

By Acacia Liu

Year 3 Journalism student at Kingston University Reporter / Design and layout chief Interests: Animals, art, fashion and gaming

Related Post