Friday, 10 February 2017

8 Valentine's Day traditions from across the world

Valentine's Day is officially around the corner, and whilst us Brits tend to take this particular holiday with a pinch of salt, the day of love is a highly celebrated occasion in other countries. The team at language learning app Babbel ( have shared a few Valentine's Day traditions from 8 different countries across the globe, and although we may be happy with a bunch of wilting carnations and a bar of galaxy, it seems that other countries love celebrating this holiday in a variety of different ways...


It is tradition on Valentine's Day in Brazil to put the names of all the people you like into a hat and select one at random. The belief is that the name you pull out of the hat could be the person you are destined to marry.


Instead of exchanging flowers, in Denmark both lovers and friends exchange pressed white flowers that they call snowdrops. It is also tradition for men to give women an anonymous 'joking letter' containing a humorous poem or rhyme. If the lucky lady can guess who penned the letter, the man in question then owes her an Easter egg later in the year!


In Ecuador, the day is inclusive of all love, not just romantic love. Called "el día del amor y de la amistad," meaning "the day of love and friendship", it is tradition to gift a flower to anyone who you want to be in your life for the next year.


In France a popular Valentine's Day tradition used to be "une loterie d'amour" translating to the "drawing for love". During this, men and women would enter houses that faced each other and the men then took it in turn to call out to the women until they found a match that they liked. The women who were rejected would then all take part in a ceremonial bonfire where they would burn pictures of the men who cast them aside!


In Germany to celebrate the holiday of love, statues of pigs are adorned with flowers and presented alongside the usual gifts of flowers and chocolates as a sign of luck!


One Italian Valentine's Day tradition saw young, unmarried girls waking up before dawn on Valentine's Day as it was believed that the first man they saw would be their future husband.


According to the legends, in Norway, the signs of bird mating is a sign of love and signifies the coming of spring, and Valentine's Day in Norway has become associated with this. Many people therefore, will look out for birds on this day.


You will find the people of Wales celebrating the day of love slightly ahead of schedule on Jan 25th, when they celebrate St Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, by offering their loved ones an intricately carved wooden love spoon.

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