Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and love is very much in the air.
While most people in Britain mark the international day of love by splashing out on presents, flowers, weekends away and romantic meals for their significant other, many nations celebrate with a wonderful array of different traditions, gifts and romantic gestures.
With this in mind, we decided to take you on a romantic trip around the world to find out a little bit more about how people across the globe show their love.
Locals looking for love in Bangkok choose to head to the Trimurti Shrine, outside the city’s Central World Plaza. Legend has it that those who pray to the god of love will see their dreams of romance come true. On Valentine’s Day the shrine is decked with red roses as visitors queue to make their request to find a partner.
In South Africa, women take a subtle approach to Valentine’s Day by figuratively wearing their hearts on their sleeves and pinning the name of their loved one to their clothing. It is suggested that they do this in the hope that their true love will notice.
South Korea not only chooses February 14th to celebrate love, but the 14th of every month. The only difference being is unlike in western culture, it is tradition for women to buy men gifts. April 14, however, is saved for single people who dine on Jajangmyeon – black noodles – to drown their lonely sorrows together, this is also known as Black Day.Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash
Valentine’s Day is met with much vigour in Mexico, where men gather with a trio of musicians called a Mariachi band to serenade loved ones from under their windows. The day is also known as El Dia del Amor y la Amistad, which translates to ‘the day of love and friendship’.
February 14th in Bulgaria is also known as St Trifon Zarezan’s Day, which is essentially national winemaker’s day, meaning that lovers usually commemorate the day with a glass of wine or two!
Here in the UK, in the passionate country of Wales, patriots actually celebrate love on January 25, which is known as St. Dwynwen’s Day. There are several local myths surrounding the story of the Welsh Saint and her ill-fated love, but the remains of her church are still standing along with a well, to which lovers make pilgrimages to.
Traditional Welsh love spoons were also gifted to proclaim true love, and are given today to celebrate marriage, birthdays and births.Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
The national day of love is celebrated on the May 1 in the Czech Republic. Lovers head to Petrin Park to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree in order to bring luck for the coming year.
In Ghana, the international day of love is celebrated as ‘Chocolate Day’ in order to attract tourism and boost awareness of the country’s production of cocoa.
Love is not only celebrated for a day in Argentina, but for an entire week. Couples and lovers alike will bake each other sweet treats in exchange for kisses. This tradition is called Sweetness Week and started out as a marketing campaign but caught on as tradition quickly.
On Bambarra beach in Turks and Caicos, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with fun and laughter, and a model sailboat race - the perfect way of sharing the day of love with the entire family.Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash