Valentine’s Day Traditions from Around the World

Valentine’s Day in the United States is the typical flowers and candy, exchanging cards, jewelry, and sometimes even a romantic marriage proposal. Even children participate in exchanging valentine’s day cards and candy at school with their friends! It’s hard to see this day any differently, but Valentine' Day is celebrated in many ways all around the world! 

In Germany children do not typically celebrate Valentine’s Day. German couples celebrate much like we do here in America with candy, roses and even jewelry, but there is one major difference. In traditional German culture, they often gift each other pigs (not necessarily live pigs!) to symbolize luck and desire. Also, couples often share ginger cookies in the shape of hearts with love sentiments decorated on them. These cookies are similar to the candy hearts that are popular here in the U.S., although some of them are more direct at communicating the giver’s true intentions.

Peru is in the middle of summertime with February 14th comes around, which means that their celebrations take place outside! Instead of the classic roses, orchids are chosen as the flower to give your significant other. They celebrate the holiday much like we do in the United States with romantic dates and strolls outdoors. Because this holiday is in the summertime, it is also the peak of wedding season in Peru. Who doesn’t want to get married on Valentine’s Day right? In fact, there are so many weddings planned for this time of year that there aren’t enough churches to hold them all!

In South Korea the 14th of each month is reserved as a “love day” and on Valentine’s Day, women actually give chocolates to men as a sign of love and affection. This differs from how we do it here in America.  This favor is returned on White Day, March 14th, when the men shower their significant others with things like white chocolate.

Estonia celebrates a holiday they call Friend’s Day on February 14th instead of Valentine’s Day. This day honors both friends and significant others. Gifts and cards are given to best friends and neighbors and significant others. This day is very popular for engagements in Estonia as well as here in the United States. Additionally, this culture has a tradition for single people! They can take a ride on something called the Love Bus where they hope to meet someone special!

Do you have any special traditions for Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can add some of these fun traditions to your special day! No matter what you do on Valentine’s Day just remember that your companionship is cherished the most!