This February we’re celebrating unique Valentine’s Day traditions around the world! Here, February 14th is all about romance, chocolates, flowers and spending time with your beloved. Whilst candlelit meals for two and sending your crush an anonymous love letter are traditional here, around the world there are many unique and distinct Valentine’s Day celebrations. From mass weddings to festivals of friendship, here are some of the most interesting Valentine’s Day traditions around the world!
‘Sweetness Week’ – Argentina
Why have one day dedicated to love when you can have an entire week? Celebrated every year from the 1st-7th July, Sweetness Week is one of the most popular festivities in the country. Originated from an advert in the 80s called ‘a candy for a kiss’, the slogan stuck. In fact, the entire Sweetness Week is a huge celebration of love, chocolate and kisses! Romancing couples fill restaurants to capacity for the duration of the week. Chocolate and candy sales increase and everyone hands out chocolates to their loved ones, friends and colleagues. Of course, a kiss is expected in return! Much more popular than Valentine’s Day, this Argentinian tradition is surely one of the sweetest celebrations of love!
‘Friendship Day’ – Finland
In Finland, Valentine’s Day is known as ‘Friendship Day’! Across the country, this special day is earmarked as a celebration of friendship, not just romance. It’s not unusual to see friends dining out at restaurants together or exchanging cards and gifts on this day. Known as Ystävänpäivä, popular things to do on this day include going out for brunch, playing and organizing fun activities with your friends. Officially recognised in the Finnish calendar, Friendship Day is surely one of the most inclusive and heartwarming Valentine’s Day traditions around the world!
Valentine’s Day & White Day – Japan
More complex than our give-and-receive traditions in the West, Valentine’s celebrations can be divided into two different days in Japan. Firstly, women and their love interests are the main focus of Valentine’s Day. On February 14th, women in Japan give chocolates to the men in their lives. But, the quality of the chocolate is very important, with the high-quality or homemade sweeties reserved for only their most serious love interests. Male family members and colleagues might also get chocolates from the ladies, but not the expensive kind.
Exactly one month later, White Day is celebrated. This is the day when the ladies finally receive gifts in return for the chocolates they generously gave a month earlier! Of course, the theme is ‘White’ so popular gifts include marshmallows and white chocolate. Although, it should be noted that the men are expected to at least double the effort and expense made by the ladies on Valentine’s Day. In early March, department stores and confectioners across Japan are filled with gentlemen purchasing White Day gifts to surprise the ladies in their lives. Even in a corporate setting, male bosses are expected to bring in White Day treat for their employees.
Mass Weddings – Philippines
Whilst the usual chocolates, romance and flowers are very popular in the Philippines, in recent years one unique Valentine’s Day tradition has become widespread. Mass weddings are now one of the most popular Valentine’s Day traditions in the Philippines! Every year on February 14th, hundreds of couples attend events around the country where they tie the knot alongside other couples in a mass wedding event! In fact, marriage is of utmost importance in Filipino culture. Therefore, what better way to celebrate the worldwide day of love than to make those sacred vows of a lifetime!
Mass weddings also help couples struggling to raise the funds for their own wedding. The local authorities organise and pay for all the flowers, decorations and usual wedding expenses. Willing couples must register beforehand and turn up on the day in their formal attire. One of the most unique Valentine’s Day traditions around the world, there’s no better way to show your love than to tie the knot for eternity!
Qixi – China
Known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi actually takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month on the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Usually held in August, Qixi is a celebration of the love between couples. Based on the romantic legend of the weaver girl and the ox herder, Qixi dates back to the days of the Han dynasty. Gift giving, chocolates, flowers and dinner dates are common activities to enjoy on Qixi day. Alternatively, some of the older traditions of this day include honouring oxen and baking delicate pastries.
So, are you ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2022? Give your loved ones the greatest gift of all this year… the gift of travel! Discover our globe-spanning selection of trips on our official website today: