Valentine’s Day takes place on the 14th February every single year, a day designed for us to celebrate our sweethearts, lovers, spouses and romantic interests.

In the UK, we typically do this with romantic gestures like Valentine’s flowers, other gifts, chocolates or a romantic date. But there are a host of wonderful traditions from all around the world. Here are some of our favourite of them:

In South Korea and Japan, The Men Are Spoiled!

We may typically associate Valentine’s Day with female partners being spoiled or treated. But in Japan and South Korea, the emphasis is on the men being treated on Valentine’s Day.

On 14th February, women typically buy chocolates for their male partners, family members, friends and colleagues in a show of appreciation. And then a month later on March 14th (known as “White Day”) this is reciprocated when men buy sweets, flowers and cakes for the women in their lives.

In Finland It’s About Celebrating Your Friends

In Finnish, the 14th February is called “Friends Day.” And it’s not about romantic dinners for two. It’s about celebrating your mates. So there’s no single people left home wishing they had a romantic interest to share the day with. It’s about exchanging gifts with and celebrating your friends, which we think is an absolutely excellent idea!

Orchids in Peru

While we typically associate Valentine’s Day with the gift of red roses, in Peru they give orchids. And actually, in this part of the world they even organise mass weddings so they accommodate the huge numbers of people looking to tie the knot on the most romantic day of the year.

Day of the Wine Makers in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, 14th February is indeed a day for romance like in many other parts of the world. But they also make a really big deal about celebrating with a glass of a locally produced wine too. In fact, they refer to the date as San Trifon Zartan, which translates to “day of wine makers.”

Snowdrops in Denmark

Instead of roses, people in Denmark more typically exchange Snowdrops. And exchanging them and other gifts is not limited just to romantic interests. It’s also, much like in Finland, about celebrating friends as well.

Estonia’s Celebration of Love

In Estonia, as we have seen in other countries, the day is about celebrating friends and family as well as your romantic partner. So the day is more a festival of love in general than of romance.

So while many traditions of gift exchanging and flowers are consistent across many parts of the world, we see unique traditions and a wider celebration of love, family and friends in some countries too.

Published by HOLR Magazine.