Let’s take a trip around the world to discover some unique Valentine’s Day traditions around the world!
From Paris and their romantic scenes to the USA and their colorful celebrations, we’ll see how different cultures celebrate love. It’s proof that love is universal no matter where you are.
When we think about 14th February, we instantly think of candlelight and flowers. Maybe a pair of sweet nothings whispered in your ear by our significant others? But did you know there’s more to this day?
Valentine’s Day has been with us for thousands of years, and it started in Rome under the name Lupercalia. On February 15th young men would strip all their clothes off and chase women around — spanking them gently to make them fertile. (Although we don’t recommend you to do this now).
Things are more civilized these days… although some of the strange Valentine’s Day traditions around the world might also raise a few eyebrows.
11 Unique Valentine’s Day Traditions From Around The World
1. United States – Grand Gestures Or Go Home
Americans know how to make V-Day special. They spend $18 billion on candy, cards, chocolates, flowers, and bling! Greeting cards are the go-to gift—couples even exchange them with friends and family.
Fun fact: Those tiny conversation hearts with messages like “Be Mine” could circle the globe!
2. Japan – Treat The Guys
In Japan, it’s ladies’ turn to pamper guys on Valentine’s Day. Women shower men with chocolates as a sweet gesture. But don’t worry, guys return the favor a month later on White Day with cake, candy, and flowers.
3. United Kingdom – Dreamy Dates
In the UK, love grows in a dreamy atmosphere. People swat hearts left and right, giving flowers, chocolates and jewelry. For a magical night, couples do one of two things: go to a restaurant for dinner or make it at home themselves.
They light up the room with candles so there’s no need for anything else. It’s a celebration of love marked by thoughtful gestures and cherished moments.
4. Finland – Friends First!
Will you be alone in Finland on this day? It’s not a problem! February 14th is all about celebrating your pals on ‘Friend’s Day,’ not Valentine’s Day. Pink roses are the official logo of friendship, but friends are just as stoked with presents and cards too.
5. Peru – Celebrate Love With Orchids Over Roses
Thanks to Carnaval celebrations in Peru they have longer time for their day of love. Most Peruvians choose orchids over roses as their flower of choice though- ya know mix it up.
Mass weddings are also popular making it quite the romantic extravaganza!
6. South Korea – Love Every Month
Love is celebrated every 14th day of each month in South Korea but February and March are the big ones. On Feb 14th women give chocolate to men, then men return the favor on White Day in March.
Missed out? No problem, there’s Black Day in April for singles to gather and enjoy Jajangmyeon (black noodles) together.
7. Norway – Poetry Games
Secret admirers take turns sending each other funny poems on Valentine’s Day in Norway. If you guess right who it’s from, you get an Easter egg and if not… well you have to give one. Sneaky!
8. Brazil – June Is The New February
If you think the most romantic day of the year is February 14th, you’re wrong in Brazil. Brazilians celebrate Valentine’s Day on June 12th in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of marriages, who is one of three matchmaker saints.
So don’t expect to see people exchanging chocolates and roses here on February 14th!
9. Wales – Love Spoons
On January 25th, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day with love spoons. Love spoons have been quite a curious concept since their invention.
They were used as a unique way for Welsh men to express interest towards women. Now-a-days they’re seen as quite the thoughtful (literally) gifts.
10. France – Une Loterie D’amour (Love Lottery)
Back in the day French singles would call out to each other on Valentine’s Day until they paired off – scary! But sadly the government had to ban it which makes me think there was probably some kidnappings going on.
11. Slovenia – Love Birds
Last but not least, Slovenia’s Valentine’s Day is actually the start of Spring where women look into the sky on Gregorjevo- whatever that means- and depending what bird they see first supposedly reveals details about their future husband.
How specific are we getting here?!
This is it, love. The language that unites us all. It’s amazing how it’s spoken in different ways throughout the world, isn’t it? Share your favorite tradition with us in the comments below! Till then Happy Valentine’s Day!