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Get To Know Its Origin And Worldwide Traditions


Many people celebrate Valentine’s Day associated with love, letters, chocolates, roses and romantic dinners at high-end restaurants. While Feb. 14 indeed works around those things, there is more to Valentine’s Day. A better way to indulge in the celebration of the day is to learn its origin and how it is truly seen worldwide. 

Origin of Valentine’s Day

This love-centric holiday has its history — the word Valentine is known to have originated from St. Valentine. It is believed that the Catholic Church established St. Valentine’s Day to honor the men martyrs. Saint Valentine of Terni, one of those men, who was believed to secretly officiate weddings for Roman soldiers against the emperor’s wishes, is treated as a proponent of love.

As history has its own different story, it is also said that St. Valentine wrote the first “valentine” greeting to a young girl whom he tutored and fell in love with while he was imprisoned for the illegal weddings mentioned above. Before his death, he signed the letter “From your Valentine.”

Meanwhile, some claimed that Pope Gelasius actually created St. Valentine’s Day in order to replace the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunas, and Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

However, a University of Kansas English professor, the late Jack B. Oruch, had a different take on this. He determined that the poet Geoffrey Chaucer linked love with St. Valentine for the first time in his 14th-century works “The Parlement of Foules” and “The Complaint of Mars.” In Oruch’s research, he claimed that Chaucer invented Valentine’s Day as we know it today. 

But, wait, aren’t you curious, how is Valentine’s Day being celebrated uniquely around the world? Below are some of the places that promote fresh Valentine’s celebrations. 

Brazil

Brazil’s “Dia dos Namorados” festival is also known as “Lovers day”, with a usual exchange of chocolates, cards and flowers. Some can witness music festivals and dance performances. Spending time with the whole family is expected during that day. 

Argentina

Argentinians generally do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in February. They have this so-called “the week of sweetness” in July. Couples exchange kisses and receive chocolates. At first, it was just a commercial invention, but later on, it was treated as their Valentine’s tradition. 

Philippines

The Philippines, like the others, celebrate Valentine’s Day during Feb. 14. It is when young couples marry in an event sponsored by the government as a form of public service. Many people wait for this occasion, especially those who want to marry hassle-free. 

South Korea

The romantic South Korean partners prepare for the day of love every 14th of each month. Indeed, it is love month every month for them. There is “the day of roses” which is celebrated in May, “the day of kisses” in June, “the day of hugs” in December. A special day for single people can also be celebrated in April as “the black day” by eating black noodles.

Ghana 

In Ghana, Feb 14 is celebrated as the “National Chocolate Day.” The Ghana government promoted it in 2007 to increase tourist numbers in the country. As Ghana is among the largest cocoa-producing countries in the world, chocolates surely rain during Valentine’s. 

Bulgaria 

Valentine’s Day is the “Day of Winemakers” for Bulgaria, celebrating San Trifon Zartan. Young and old couples can be seen celebrating their love with a glass of their excellent local wine. Nothing can go wrong with a relaxing treat and a drink on your hand during the most adored holiday between couples. 

Spain

The day of love in Valencia, Spain, is on Oct. 9, widely known as the feast of Saint Dionysus. People celebrate the festival by making “macadora,” a marzipan figurine. Men also build the figurines to give to their female lovers. 

Romania

Romania is known for its unique Valentine’s commemoration. The day is celebrated on Feb. 24, the time of the year when young couples get engaged. They also enjoy it with the mix of Valentine’s Day and the spring season. Men and women walk through the forests to pick colorful flowers, while other couples wash their faces with snow as a sign of good luck.

England

In England, women used to place five bay leaves on their pillows with the hope of bringing dreams of their future husbands. In Norfolk, Jack Valentine acts as a Santa for Valentine’s day. 

Slovenia

St Valentine is considered as one of the patron saints of spring in Slovenia. On Feb. 14, people believed that plants started to regenerate as this day marks the first day of working in the fields for the New Year. Another famous belief states that birds propose to each other on this day. To witness this occasion, one must walk barefoot through fields that are often still cold and frozen.

Valentine's Day Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 every year. And some people – not to say the majority; really enjoy this important event. Matthew Lloyd/Getty




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