Valentine’s Day in the present day is known as the day for showing love, affection, and care for your loved ones. It is not only for your partners but for your friends, family and any other loved and dear ones. In today’s world of cacophony, we hardly get time to convey to the other person our love or affection for that person. It should be the same every day, but yet on this day of February 14th, everyone takes the opportunity to make their loved ones feel special. It is the day when people show their affection for another person or people by sending cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love.
This day gets its name from a famous saint but there has been a different version of stories. There is a popular belief that St. Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men would be bad soldiers and be inefficient for the territory. Valentine felt this was truly unfair so he deconstructed the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found this, he took serious actions against St. Valentine. He threw him to jail a sentenced him to death. There he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. When he was taken to be killed on 14th February he wrote her a letter signed ‘from your Valentine’.
It was a part of the celebration where boys drew names of girls from a box and the pair would be a couple during the celebrations. Sometimes, they would even get married later. In later days, the church wanted to turn this into a festival and decided to use it to remember St. Valentine too. Gradually, St. Valentine’s name started to be used by people to express their feelings to those they loved and cared for.
Although Valentine’s Day is a relatively new holiday in Denmark (celebrated since the early 1990s according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark), the country has embraced February 14th with a Danish twist. Rather than roses, friends and sweethearts exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops.
With a reputation as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, it’s little wonder France has long celebrated Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers.
It is been said that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Today, Valentine’s Day cards remain a popular tradition in France and around the world
- South Korea
Valentine’s Day is a popular holiday for young couples in South Korea, and variations of the holiday are celebrated monthly from February through April. The gift-giving starts on February 14th, when it’s up to women to enthrall their men with chocolates, candies, and flowers. The tables turn on March 14th, a holiday known as White Day, when men not only shower their sweethearts with chocolates and flowers but up the ante with a gift.
On the eve on Valentine’s Day, women in England used to place five bay leaves on their pillows, one at each corner and one in the center, to bring dreams of their future husbands. Alternatively, they would wet bay leaves with rosewater and place them across their pillows.
Originally, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival. The young and amorous gathered outside in gardens and such to enjoy poetry readings and music before taking a stroll with their beloved.
Another Italian Valentine’s Day tradition was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the man she would marry within a year. Or he’d at least strongly resemble the man she would marry.
- South Africa
Like many parts of the world, South Africa celebrates Valentine’s Day with festivals, flowers and other tokens of love. It’s also customary for women in South Africa to wear their hearts on their sleeves on February 14th; women pin the names of their love interest on their shirtsleeves, an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia. In some cases, this is how South African men learn of their secret admirers.
For Bulgarians, 14th of February is compared to wine and love. People say that if they are in a relationship they can celebrate with their partner and if they are not they can just get drunk with wine.
February, while everyone is looking for a present for their loved ones, Bulgarians are rather selfish. They are very busy looking for one present and it is only for themselves – wine.
The hype around the 14th of February can be also experienced in Bulgaria. However, in comparison to other countries around the world, they do not wait impatiently for Valentine’s Day. Bulgarians celebrate St. Trifon Zarezan – their Wine Day.