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  • Writer's pictureMahi Sheth

Valentine's day Traditions Worldwide

Valentine’s day is here! You will see so many places decorated with hearts, glitter, red and white decor. Couples being handed heart-shaped candies, stuffed toys, balloons, and varieties of chocolates.


We know what people here in the USA do for Valentine's Day. How about the rest of the world, though? What do they do on the day of love? Before we get into the different traditions around the world, here is a brief history about Valentine's Day.


History Surrounding Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is celebrated worldwide in honor of Saint Valentine, but who is this enigmatic figure and why is the holiday celebrated with such enthusiasm? According to legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. When Claudius II declared that single men made better soldiers than those with children and wives, he banned young soldiers from getting married. Valentine began performing secret marriages for young couples in protest against the injustice being done to young males. When the emperor learned of Valentine's acts, he demanded that the saint be executed. Saint Valentine gained popularity over time to the point where Valentine's Day is now recognized as the day of love by lovers everywhere.


Traditions Around the World

Here are some countries and their traditions for Valentine's day.


Argentina

Photo Courtesy of Steven Depolo

In Argentina, people celebrate "The Week of Sweetness" in July instead of Valentine's Day in February. On this day, couples exchange kisses and receive chocolates and other sweets. Sweetness week takes place in the first week of July, from the 1st to the 7th. It was founded

in Argentina in 1989 as a result of the advertising campaign "a candy for a kiss" created by the brand Arcor. It was part of a sales-boosting marketing strategy. Every July 1st, we can see posters promoting this occasion in newspapers and candy stores.


Bulgaria

Photo Courtesy of https://traveltriangle.com

The equivalent to Valentine's Day in Bulgaria is called Trifon Zarezan, also known as The Day of Winemakers. They have a day of wine and feasting to honor St. Trifon, the patron saint of vineyards. On this day, it is customary to prune the vines. Winemakers go into their vineyards, trim the vines, water the soil with wine, and pray for a good harvest. Everyone in the village then contributes fresh bread, fried chicken, and a wine container. They all vote for the king, who produces the best wine and grapes. They dress him in a crown of cut vines and lead him solemnly to his home. There, he generously draws them with wine.


Denmark

Photo Courtesy of https://traveltriangle.com

Valentine’s day was not celebrated in Denmark until the 1990s, but that didn’t stop the Danes from creating their own twist on Valentine's Day. On February 14, Danish people give pressed white flowers known as "snowdrops" to friends and romantic partners in place of Americans' red roses. Another element of Valentine's Day is the exchange of "lovers’ cards," which were originally transparent cards with an image of the sender giving a gift to their partners.

What do you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you have the traditional chocolates and roses to give? Or are you doing something different this year? Whatever you plan to do today, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!


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