Flowers, chocolates and greeting cards are the go-to gifts of choice in the UK, but what about the rest of the world? LoveHearts.com has done some research into the customs and practices of Valentine’s Day around the globe. Take a look at our 14th February findings:
Just like the country, Japanese Valentine’s Day is very unique. There are actually two days in the calendar year where loved ones present gifts to each other. On the 14th February, women traditionally share chocolate with their other half and on the 14th March, men give their partners a gift. The 14th March is known as ‘White Day’ in Japan and men are traditionally known to give jewellery but the less expensive gifts include anything that is white. This could include white chocolate, white clothes or, the most popular gift of all, marshmallows!
Spain is interesting because different regions of the country celebrate Valentine’s on a different day. For example, the most romantic day of the year in Valencia is the 9th of October whist Barcelona honours the day on April 23rd. However, it seems that the Spanish are more cynical when it comes to gifting: Valentine’s is widely regarded as a carnival of consumerism which is why most of the country refers to it as the “Day of Corte Inglés”. Corte Inglés is Spain’s most prolific department store – a bit like the UK’s John Lewis!
Denmark has only recently begun to celebrate Valentine’s Day (early 1990s). The Danish don’t go shopping-mad before the big day. Instead, they opt to make homemade gifts for their significant others. These include pressed flowers and short, and often tongue-in-cheek, poems or letters. If the recipient can guess who sent them a present they customarily “earn” themselves an Easter egg for later in the year.
Folklore has it that the first man a woman sees before the dawn of Valentine’s Day will be the man she marries. With time, this myth has been rejected as holding any truth but many still believe that their husbands resemble the man they saw one Valentine’s morning!
As it is, Italy holds a reputation for being a romantic country, and Valentine’s is no exception. Gifts include chocolate, evenings out and Italian prosecco. Sounds pretty dreamy to us (though we would prefer sweets)!