Valentine’s Day is celebrated across North America as a day to enjoy the company of the one you love, most commonly with dinner dates, flowers and even some chocolate. While Valentines may be the norm for us here, not all cultures around the world celebrate Valentines. Here are some other ways different cultures celebrate love.
In Hong Kong, a Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar calendar. This day also signifies the end of the Chinese New Year. The Lantern Festival is believed to have originated through their old custom or matchmaking, when single people would walk through the streets with a lantern. During this festival, many couples pray to the mythological god of marriage and love.
Dia dos namorados – otherwise known as Lover’s Day – is celebrated in Brazil, but not until June 12. It is very similar to our Valentine’s Day in which couples celebrate their love for each other with gifts.
The Japanese also have their own version of Valentines on February 14, however the women give men chocolate on this day. It is not until a month – March 14 – later that men reciprocate and give their women chocolate or other gifts. This day is otherwise known as White Day.
In Finland, they also celebrate a similar holiday on February 14. However, instead of it being about the love between a couple, it is extended to friends. Thus, the tradition is aptly named Friends Day. Gifts, candy and flowers are still given out, however no one is left out.
While these are only a few examples of how other countries and cultures celebrate love, love is often celebrated in many cultures in many ways at some point throughout the year. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day you should celebrate love – celebrate every day!