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9th February 2015

Valentine’s Day across the globe

I love you; Je t’aime; Ti amo – Perisha Kudhail explores 14th of February customs from around the world

Roses are red, violets are blue, we love Valentine’s Day and the world does too. The day of love has become a global phenomenon, as couples around the world express their love on the sacred 14th of February.

Just as we expect, roses and chocolates are a must, as expressing our affections is not stemmed down to a few flowers. For those of the Western Hemisphere, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to be cheesy and lovey-dovey to no end. The same goes in Japan, where the 14th of  February is an extravagant event. Not only is it the social norm for women (who normally shy away from showing affection) to show affection for their husbands, but also for their friends. Chocolates are a must, as each chocolate represents a different relationship.

It’s not only our Eastern friends who celebrate romance on this day of love; in Austria it is customary to gift flowers to your partner on Saint Valentine’s Day. But it’s not all flowers and love hearts– Valentine’s Day can be full of laughs and giggles. That can only be a good thing, and America seems to think so too.

Although cards are a tradition in many countries, Denmark puts a special twist on the Valentine’s Day card. People in Denmark send transparent cards, which when held up to the light show a hidden message. These notes of mystery are known as ‘lovers cards’.

With all these romantic (and not so romantic) notions of love around the World, how can we forget about our beloved Britain? Whilst we may not be harbourers of personal chocolates, we live in the land where Romeo and Juliet was written. With Saint Valentine on the tip of our tongue, our tradition is to write love-coated words. Now we tend to stick to good old roses and champagne, but maybe this Valentine’s Day we can step outside the box, and take some inspiration from other countries.

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