Valentine’s Day Around the World

A day not just dedicated to chocolates

By Theresa Eru

Valentine’s Day, a day of love and joy, is a worldwide observed holiday. Most know of the typical traditions; for instance, in the United States, Valentine’s Day is typically celebrated with chocolates, flowers, and love letters. It is recognized around the planet, so how is the day of love celebrated in other parts of the world? 

Germany: Germany is fairly new to celebrating Valentine’s Day as it was brought over by American soldiers during the war in the 1940s, but over time, it has become more celebrated throughout the nation. Due to its American roots, Valentine’s Day in Germany follows similar patterns as the US, with chocolates, flowers, and love notes. But there is one thing Germany does differently, and that is gifting pigs. Obviously not real ones, but trinkets and cartoons of pigs, sometimes holding a four-leaf clover to represent love and lust. Heart-shaped gingerbread cookies also grace the market as one of the popular gift items.

Philippines: Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest and most commercialized holidays in the Philippines. Many citizens take a day off work even though it is not a government official holiday. It is not uncommon to see mass weddings taking place in Manila or other approved areas. The wedding is fully paid for by the government, with hundreds of couples ready to tie the knot. The Philippines is also known for its Valentine’s Day midnight kiss, which is pretty self-explanatory. The Philippines even sealed a world record where thousands of couples went to Manila Bay and kissed at midnight for at least ten seconds each.

Italy: In Italy, it is common for young couples and/or new couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Typically couples will get padlocks and lock them to a bridge, throwing away the key to represent their unbreakable love. But most of the time, Italian authorities will cut off the padlocks to keep the bridges’ beauty. Also, in Verona, Italy, the location where Romeo and Juliet took place, a red-painted heart will be put in the middle of the historic Piazza dei Signori and lit up with heart-shaped lanterns. In this location, there are concerts, contests, and special offers for young couples.

No matter where you are in the world, don’t forget to celebrate and love those around you, including yourself. Spread love, joy, and cheer, and be kind!

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