Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. The UK has divided opinions on the sacred day - for every singleton declaring war on Valentine’s Day, you’ll find a gooey eyed couple professing their undying love in public - which got us wondering, how does the rest of the world celebrate Valentine’s Day?
From Finland’s Friend Day to Japan’s White Day, join Nica as we explore the various Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.
White Day, Japan
Valentine’s Day in Japan turns the tables on traditional celebration as gender roles are swapped and women are expected to give men chocolate gifts as an expression of love and loyalty. A month later on White Day (March 14th) men return the favour by giving white gifts (traditionally cookies, white chocolate and marshmallows) to show their affection. Although women are encouraged to make the first move, the return gift is traditionally double or triple the cost.
Friends Day, Finland
Finland is one country that doesn't need significant others to have a good time, that’s why they created Friends Day, or Ystävänpäivä as it is known in Finnish. On this day celebrations are more about remembering your friends and spending time with them as opposed to your partner. In the past few years couples have started to exchange gifts, however this cultural shift is quite recent and the majority of people choose to celebrate the traditional way.
Dydd Santes Dwynwen, Wales
Valentine’s Day has already passed in Wales, Dydd Santes Dwynwen took place on January 25th in remembrance of the Welsh saint of love, Dwynwen. The popularity of Dydd Santes Dwynwen has increased dramatically over recent years with love themed gigs, singles nights and romantic dinner events taking place all over Wales.
It is customary to give love-spoons as gifts on Dydd Santes Dwynwen, a tradition which started with Welsh sailors carving decorated spoons of wood and presenting them to women they admired. A girl can dream!
What do you think of Valentine’s Day? Whether you love it or hate it, tweet us your thoughts @Nica_Handbags.