In the most romantic season of love, hope that Cupid has already blessed you with the special person of your life. You may have prepared your own way to woo the significant other on Valentine’s Day. Right now, the internet is flooded with the ideas on how to celebrate the day. The shelves of the shops are flooded with the rosy bouquet, stuffed toys, heart-shaped candies, cards with lovely quotations and many other things. But there are some countries, where this newly added international festival of love is celebrated in exceptional ways. You can check out the most unconventional ways of celebrating V-Day and who knows, you may get a better idea to celebrate with your own Valentine.
In Denmark, Valentine’s day has a connection with upcoming Easter. The event is celebrated in the country in early 1990. They have ditched the conventional way of gifting roses, chocolates or soft toys and exchange a white flower called snowdrops. In another way, they also exchange the Lover’s Card which is a transparent card revealing the picture of the sender. In another ritual, men give women gaekkebrev or a joking letter. The letter is cut intricately and a funny poem or rhyme is written on it with an anonymous sign of dots. The women have to guess correctly the name of the sender to get an Easter egg later of the year.
The budding place of romance is France. It is quite obvious that the city of love must have some exceptional way to celebrate Valentine’s day. As the tradition of Valentine’s Day card has been originated in France as imprisoned Charles, the Duke of Orleans sent love letters to his wife in the year 1415. In another tradition named loterie d’amour or drawing of love, where the single person can fill houses facing one another and the men have to choose the match from the house in front. They can leave their match for another woman also. And end of the day the women who left unmatched burn the picture of men in the bonfire and insult them. France government has banned this event as it went uncontrollable many times.
When 14th February is marked as the last day of Valentine’s week for the rest of the world; the season of love is actually started in South Korea on that day. The women start to woo their men with chocolate, flowers and gifts. And March 14 is the day for men to return their favors. The day marked as White Day in the South Korean calendar also celebrated as a holiday. And on April 14 which is known as Black Day, the singles regret their status by having dark bowls of jajangmyeon or black bean paste noodles.
In Japan, they have the same tradition of celebrating White Day as South Korea. On February 14, the girls gift ‘Giri Choco’ to the men with whom they have no affection for friends, colleagues or even boss. But for someone special, they need to gift Honmei Choco and handmade gift to express their feeling. The tables turn one month later on White Day when the men need to pamper their women with gifts.
China has its own Day of Love which is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month. The festival is called Qixi or Seventh Night Festival. On that day, the women offer melon along with other fruits to get a good husband. The couples also pray for the happiness and prosperity in their relationship.
In Wales, people celebrate St Dwynwen Day, the local patron Saint of lovers on January 25 by gifting Love Spoon. The tradition was started in the 17th Century where men curve wooden spoon intricately for their love of the life. Each different pattern carries out unique meaning. For example spoon with key design denotes key to a man’s heart, wheels indicate support and horseshoes for good luck.
In the celebration of valentine’s day in England, you can see the blending of contemporary thought with traditional belief. The women place five bay leaves under their pillow; each one at every corner and one in the centre to dream about their future husband. In another custom, they soak the bay leaves in rose water and place them across the pillow.
The festival of love starts with the knocking of Spring at the door. In Italy, people celebrate the ‘day of Love’ in classic style. They exchange gifts like ‘baci perugina’, a box of hazelnut filled chocolate with the romantic quote in four languages. According to the old tradition, the unmarried girls will marry the men whom they saw first in the morning within a year.
The land of carnival celebrates the season of love with grand extravaganza in Dia dos Namorados or you can say Lover’s Day on June 12 every year. Celebrations, music festivals and dance performances are held throughout the country. The gift exchange on their day of love is not confined to lover’s only, they can gift to friends and relative also. The next day is celebrated as St. Anthony’s Day where unmarried women perform the ritual with the hope that the patron of Marriage will bring good husbands to them.
Though we are all familiar with the proverb of wearing heart on the sleeve, the South African women literary do it. On February 14, the ladies pin the names of their object or person of affection into their sleeves. The boys get to know about the fantasy of girls from it. This is an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia.