Romantic Gifts Across the Globe: Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World

While the tradition of having a day to celebrate love is common around the world, many countries have different traditions for celebrating and exchanging romantic gifts on this day – here are some interesting examples!

Wine gifts and flowers delivery uk - next day flower delivery uk and gift delivery uk next day uk by top online gift shop and London florist.Japan: Romantic Gifts of Chocolate

In Japan, traditional conventions are turned on their head and it is women who give romantic gifts to men. These gifts come in the form of chocolates – and a woman can give ‘giro-choco’ to friends and colleagues and ‘honmei-choco’ to the object of her affection. But there is a twist- exactly one month later, on White Day, the men who received romantic gifts from women are expected to return the favour and give her chocolates or send a bouquet of flowers to their sweetheart.

Denmark: Snowdrops and Guessing Games

Valentine’s Day is a relatively new tradition in Denmark, only celebrated since the early 1990s. It is mainly celebrated by young people, and instead of Valentine’s roses, white flowers known as ‘snowdrops’ are exchanged between sweethearts. Another custom for romantic gifts is for men to give love notes or funny poems called ‘gaekkebrev’ to a woman they fancy, signing their name in dots to replace letters. If she guesses correctly, she is rewarded with an Easter Egg later that year!

South Africa: a Heart on Your Sleeve

Celebrated with much passion every February 14th, Valentine’s Day in South Africa is a big deal and often week-long parties and celebrations are held. Young women follow the custom of an Ancient Roman festival ‘Lupercalia’ where they pin the name of their lovers to their sleeve – a possible origin of he famous phrase.

1505619_10152627896038915_5351930421933863647_nFrance: Burning Love

There is a story that the tradition of sending Valentine’s cards originated in France, thanks to the Duke of Orleans in the 15th century. The story goes that he wrote love letters to his wife in France when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, hence this Valentine’s tradition was born.

There is also another curious tradition rather less romantic than sending Valentine’s day flower gifts as is usually the custom. Loterie d’amour was a practice whereby men and women would fill houses facing each other, and take turns to call out the name of the person they desired, then pairing off with them. The women left without a partner would then create a bonfire in which they threw pictures and objects associated with the man who had rejected her. Not the cheeriest of traditions!

Brazil: Joy in June

‘Dia dos Namorados’ – or ‘Lover’s Day’ – is celebrated in Brazil on June 12 to be close to St Anthony’s Day on June 13, and avoids the Brazilian carnival that takes place in February. St Anthony is a 13th century saint who is believed to bless young couples with happy and prosperous marriages. On St Anthony’s Day eve, Brazilian couples celebrate in the same way as February 14th is celebrated around the world- with the showering of gifts and affection between sweethearts.

Romantic Gifts Across the Globe: Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World was last modified: December 7th, 2018 by Todd

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