Love is in the Air: Valentine’s Around the World

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“We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”– Dr. Seuss

It’s that time of the year when expressing love in a more special, grand, and unique way is expected. For example, sending hundreds of flowers to a significant someone or giving out hand-written love letters. Oh! One can definitely notice a handful of heart designs are displayed everywhere. With these, it is safe to say that it is indeed Valentine’s Day.

The root of Valentine’s Day began during the ancient Roman period. Though the early festivity may seem barbaric, it eventually unfolded into the modern event we now know. In the hopes of injecting Christianity into the formerly brutal feast, religion moved the occasion to February 14. Surprisingly, it was only during the 1300s when the idea of romantic love was associated with Valentine’s Day.


Love Blooms

Now, almost everyone has a different way of celebrating Valentine’s day. Be it with your family or friends or alone – the possibilities are endless and changing. You’ll be surprised at how different people observe Valentine’s Day.

Read on to see some noteworthy Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world.



In Japan, Valentine’s Day is highly anticipated by men as women are the ones who traditionally give out the chocolate. There are two types of Valentine’s Day chocolate. The first one is called obligation or girichocolates given to friends and acquaintances. The second one is chocolate with is called honmeichocolate. The honmeichocolate is given by the woman towards the person she has romantic feelings. To make it even special, some women try to learn how to make hand-made honmeidelicacies. Men, in return, will give chocolates or jewellery to women on White Day (every 14th March) as a response to the chocolate they received.


Unlike other countries celebrating every 14thof February, China’s Valentine’s Day is observed during the Qixior Qiqiaofestival. It is said that Qixior Qiqiaofestival is based on the Chinese mythology of the annual meeting of the weaver girl and the cowherd. And following the Lunar calendar, Valentine’s Day happens every August as the Qixior Qiqiaofestival takes place every 7thday of the 7thlunar month.

South Korea

South Koreans observe Valentine’s Day similar to how the Japanese do it.  Adapting the chocolate giving tradition, women will give out sweets to the person they like. What is interesting is that Valentine’s Day is just one of their 12 ‘love days’.

The 12 love days are 12 different events celebrated every 14th of each month. If men aren’t lucky to receive any chocolate during Valentine’s Day, then they can celebrate ‘Black Day’ or an event commemorating singlehood. During ‘Black Day’, Koreans enjoy eating jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce) together with their friends.

United Kingdom

One of the traditions in the United Kingdom is sending an anonymous Valentine’s card to the person they like. This gesture dates back to the Victorian period. The reason for this tradition is because the Victorians believe that writing your name on the card leads to bad luck. Giving out roses is another tradition in the United Kingdom. Rose is considered as the favourite flower of the Roman goddess of love, Venus.


Though predominantly Buddhist, Valentine’s Day in Thailand is also an important celebration. One of the unique ways to commemorate the event is by saying “I do” underwater. Yes! A wedding celebrated under the clear waters of Thailand. The underwater wedding has been a hit among scuba diving couples for the past years. Taking place in Pak Meng Beach in Trang province, couples would dive in their wedding attire and have a souvenir video taken.


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