How is Valentine’s Day celebrated around the world?

Valentine’s Day leaves no one indifferent, and is firmly rooted in our customs. What about the rest of the world? Is the rose in the spotlight everywhere on February 14th? Traditions on this day vary from country to country. Here’s how lovers’ day is celebrated around the world.


La Saint Valentin aux USA : un business de 20 milliards de dollars

Every year, Americans spend $20 billion on candy, cards, chocolates, flowers and jewelry. Greeting cards are the most common gift, but not only for couples. Parents, friends and students also give each other cards containing little words of friendship, affection and appreciation.

La Saint Valentin au Japon : les femmes offrent des cadeaux

The birth of Valentine’s Day dates back to the aftermath of the Second World War, when confectionery manufacturers came up with the idea of making February 14th a day for women to give chocolates. Half a century later, the tradition is well established. On Valentine’s Day, millions of Japanese women offer pralines or ganaches as a sign of affection, friendship or professional respect, according to very precise codes. The “giri-choko”, obligatory chocolates, are reserved for colleagues and bosses. Honmi-choko”, premium chocolates, are a sign of “true love”.

La Saint Valentin en Corée : fête en couple et aussi célibataire

It also features the Japanese custom described above. But the country also has a Singles’ Day, celebrated on April 14. It’s called Black Day, because bachelors gather to eat black noodles!

La Saint Valentin aux Philippines : on s’embrasse à minuit

As in many other countries, flowers and chocolates are the gifts of choice for all lovers. The best-known Valentine’s Day event in the Philippines is “dovapalooza”. Thousands of couples gather on the shores of Manila Bay and, at midnight, they all kiss and hold their lips together for several seconds. In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is also an opportunity for many couples to get married for free by taking advantage of the “mass weddings” organized by certain churches and various government agencies.

La Saint-Valentin au Danemark : le jour de Pâques

Valentine’s Day is not celebrated on February 14, but at Easter. This festival is celebrated in the form of a game: Gaekkebrev (the right letters). The aim is simple: people who wish to do so write a love letter to the person of their choice, but to sign this card, they put one dot per letter of their first name. The person who receives the card has to guess who sent it, and if they guess, they get an Easter egg!

La Saint-Valentin en Thaïlande : se marier

Valentine’s Day is a very important holiday for the locals. The symbolic red rose is set aside in favor of an adorable teddy bear. It’s not uncommon for couples to get married on this day, which the Thai consider to be a lucky day. Bang-Rak, a district of Bangkok whose name can be translated as “the district of love”, sees a huge parade of couples on February 14th. Some don’t hesitate to queue up to make their union official. Singles go to the temple to pray to Trimurati for love.

La Saint-Valentin au Brésil : au mois de juin !

As in Colombia and Mexico, Valentine’s Day is not celebrated on February 14. Brazilians follow the Portuguese tradition of celebrating St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint and protector of souls in love. So, on June 12, “Lovers’ Day”, Brazilians declare their love for each other with little gifts. In Brazil, Lovers’ Day is just one more reason to celebrate!

En Chine : la Saint-Valentin chinoise

Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Also known as the Qixi Festival (“evening of the Festival of Seven”), this unique celebration of love is deeply rooted in Chinese folklore and is based on the romantic legend of Zhinu and Niulang. On this famous night, the single or newly-wed women of each house go out into the courtyard to hang a garland of flowers. They then make an offering to the fairy and her husband, consisting of fruit, flowers, tea and rice powder.

La Saint-Valentin au Vietnam : le plus long baiser

For Valentine’s Day, the small town of Hai Phong came up with the idea of organizing a contest for the longest kiss. Every year, a hundred or so participants come to the Viêt-Tiep Cultural and Friendship Palace to compete for the coveted title. “Ngày Gần Tinh Nhan” is a relatively recent festival in Vietnam. Traditionally, men give their sweethearts a bouquet of roses.

La Saint-Valentin en Inde : la famille avant tout !

In India, love is quite secret and especially forbidden before marriage, so Valentine’s Day doesn’t have the same significance. While younger generations are beginning to dare to celebrate this romantic holiday as a couple, many Indians generally spend Valentine’s Day with their families. Valentine’s Day is seen more as a convivial moment with loved ones, rather than a commercial holiday as it is in many other countries.

Would you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of these countries? Don’t forget to take out travel insurance to make the most of your stay with your other half!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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