Travel Experiences

5 Valentine’s Day Traditions around the globe

5 Valentine’s Day Traditions around the globe
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5 Valentine's Day traditions around the globe

It’s amazing how different cultures of the world express that one similar thing we call Love. Indeed, there are so many different ways of conceiving love in the world that it’s obvious there will be hundreds of expressions of it depending on the culture. And of course, it is also true for Valentine’s Day. We made a list of 5 funny ways to express love on this very special day around the world.

1. Zulu Love Letter In South Africa

While Valentine’s Day isn’t celebrated in Zulu culture, colourful beads play an important role between young men and women. Girls can send young men a message called “ucu” — or “love letter” — in beads. Each colour expresses a feeling. After courting for a while, the man will ask the girl the exact meaning of the beads. Some of the boys, too hasty, may ask their sisters for help decoding.

2. Anonymous poems in Denmark

On Valentine’s Day in Denmark, people send short poems on elaborately cut paper known as gaekkebrev. The sender signs the message with dots instead of a name (the number of dots equals the number of letters in the sender’s name), and if the recipient finds out the name, he or she receives an egg at Easter later in the year.

@Sarita Rajiv

3. Chocolates Gifts In Japan

In Japan, Valentine’s Day goes also with White Day (one month later). On Feb. 14, women traditionally give homemade chocolates to various men, but only one special man receives the honmei-choco. Exactly one month later, on White Day, the chosen man will return the favor with his own chocolate gift.

@Egor Lyfar

El Día del Amor y Amistad In Mexico

In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love for a community. El Día del Amor y Amistad comes on Feb. 14, and Mexicans make it an inclusive holiday. While men usually buy balloons and candies for the women, these latter bake for their friends and neighbours. “Te amo!” is for the lover and “Te quiero!” for friends.

@William Zinn

5. St. Dwynwen’s Day In Wales

On St. Dwynwen’s Day, which falls every year on Jan. 25, the Welsh hearken back to ancient lore to celebrate love and affection. Dwynwen was the prettiest of King Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. She fell in love with a local lad called Maelon Dafodrill, but King Brychan had already arranged for her to marry another prince. Maelon took the news badly, so the distraught Dwynwen fled to the woods to weep, and begged God to help her. She was visited by an angel who gave her a sweet potion to help her forget Maelon and turned him into a block of ice. Unrequited love is now celebrated by spoon carving. Men carve beautiful, meaningful designs on wooden spoons and bestow them to their ladies.

Even with all these interesting traditions around, Valentine’s Day is of course what you choose to make with it!

At U2Guide, we believe that Valentine’s Day is much more than just offering chocolates and material gifts. It is an opportunity to show and spread love. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages series, there are 5 languages of love: physical contact, comforting words, quality time, offering gifts and services. So, spend time with your half, whether it’s by offering them an experience with our gift card, or just by spending a quiet evening in the apartment!


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