Valentine’s Day Around the World

Here in the U.S., we celebrate Valentine’s Day by exchanging heart-shaped pieces of paper, giving roses and chocolate, and professing our love. In other counties, they do it a little bit differently.

Valentine's Day Around the World

South Korea

In the place where the Olympics are being held right now, women romance their special someone by giving them candy and flowers. Then, a month later, March 14th is White Day, when men give ladies candy and flowers, along with a gift. Then a month after that, on April 14th, people not in a relationship celebrate Black Day, commemorated with a bowl of black bean-paste noodles called jajangmyeon.

Denmark

People often say they want a romantic partner who’s funny, so those folks would love V-Day in Denmark. In the Scandinavian country, it’s customary for guys to send out a gaekkebrev, or “joking letter.” It’s a funny poem written on cut-up paper (kind of like a paper snowflake you made in elementary school) and sent anonymously. If the recipient correctly guesses who sent it, the sender gives her an Easter egg on Easter.

The Philippines

It’s the holiday of love, so why wouldn’t you get married on this day? So many people in the Asian nation want to get married on the international day of love that mass weddings are extremely popular on February 14th.

South Africa

They’re keeping alive an ancient Roman festival called “Lupercalia.” Women make a heart out of paper, write the name of the person they’re in love with on it…and then bravely pin it to their sleeve and go about their day. Apparently, this is how a lot of couples first get together—when someone sees their name on someone else’s sleeve and makes a move.

England

Who’s the “character” most associated with Valentine’s Day? If you said “Cupid,” then you’re not from the city of Norfolk, England. They’ve got an old folk custom there in which Jack Valentine visits kids on February 14th. Sort of like Santa Claus, ol’ Jack knocks on their doors and runs away, leaving candy and maybe a small gift.