Valentine’s Day: traditions from around the world

The National Retail Federation expects 55% of Americans to celebrate on this day and spend an average of $143,56 each, for a total of $19,6 billion, up from $18,2 billion last year. Perhaps flowers and candies are a good way to show our love, but far from the only one. We have collected funny and unusual love traditions from all over the world. Maybe you will find inspiration in them!


On February 14, Welsh citizens do not exchange boxes of chocolates and flowers. Residents of the country associate this romantic day with St. Dwinwen, the patroness of lovers, and celebrate a holiday similar to Valentine’s Day a little earlier, on January 25th. The tradition, which was adopted in the country as early as the 17th century, entails exchanging wooden love spoons with traditional symbols such as hearts, horseshoes for good luck, and wheels denoting support. Cutlery, now a popular gift choice even for weddings and birthdays, is purely decorative and not practical for “intended” use.


In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by women. They give men one of two types of chocolate: “Giri-choco” or “Honmei-choco”. The first is intended for friends, colleagues and bosses, while the second is customary to give to your husbands and young people. Men do not answer women immediately, but already on March 14 – on White Day. They give them flowers, candy, jewelry, and other gifts, thanking them for their Valentine’s Day chocolates. On White Day, gifts traditionally cost three times as much as those given to men. Therefore, it is not surprising that other countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong have adopted this fun and lucrative tradition as well.

South Africa

Along with a romantic dinner, receiving flowers and Cupid paraphernalia, South African women are sure to put hearts on their sleeves – literally. They write the names of their chosen ones on them, so that some men can find out which women have chosen them as a partner.


The Danes started celebrating Valentine’s Day relatively late, only in the 1990s, adding their own traditions to the event. Instead of exchanging roses and sweets, friends and lovers give each other exclusively white flowers – snowdrops. The men also send the women an anonymous Gaekkebrev, a playful letter containing a funny poem. If the recipient guesses the name of the sender, she will be rewarded with an Easter egg in the same year.


Surely, many women watched the film “How to Marry in 3 Days”, where the main character goes to propose to her boyfriend, because on February 29 in English-speaking countries a man does not have the right to refuse. In Holland, this tradition is dedicated to February 14, when a woman can calmly approach a man and say to him: “Marry me!” And if a man does not appreciate the seriousness of his companion, he will be obliged to buy her a dress, and mostly silk.

Do you have any traditions for celebrating Valentine’s Day?

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