Being in love is one of the best feelings, but it can definitely make you lose all sense of sanity and make you do some really weird things. Ok so giving a card, flowers and some chocolates isn’t that odd, but some places have the oddest romantic customs and beliefs!
Most people would be a bit sick in their mouth thinking about giving their boss a Valentine’s gift (obviously not us here at Local Links, ours is pretty great!) but in Japan it’s quite the norm. A tradition called ‘giri choco‘ or ‘obligation chocolate’ sees women buy chocolate for male co-workers.
Not only does South Korea have two holidays for love, one day for men and another for women, it also has Black Day. Black Day falls on April 14, where all singletons have to wear dark colours, eat black food and commiserate with others who aren’t in relationships.
In Guatemala oldies dress up in feathers and masks to celebrate ‘old love’ in a senior citizens’ parade through Guatemala City. What a fun way to celebrate lasting relationships!
In 17th Century England ladies would put bay leaves on their pillow on the eve of St Valentine’s Day. If they did this then they would dream of their future husband.
On Dia dos Namorados (June 12th) in Brazil, single ladies write down the names of guys they fancy and draw a name out of a hat. According to tradition, the one they unknowingly pluck from obscurity will be the man they marry.
In Slovenia, Saint Valentine, spends February 14 ‘waking’ all the crops and flowers so they can grow in spring – and farmers can start work in the fields.
In Thailand, women head to a shrine where they lay red roses, candles and incense for the Hindu gods and pray for a husband. Iraqi Kurds celebrate Valentine’s by decorating red apples to represent the original love story – Adam and Eve. The decorated red apple is said to bring prosperity and long-term love.
In Wales it is tradition on St Dwynwen’s Day (January 25th, Welsh Valentine’s Day) to give ornately carved love-spoons to show your affection.
In Estonia Valentine’s Day is dedicated to friendships so presents and cards are exchanged all round.