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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day



Happy Valentines Day :) If you are single, use this as an opportunity to show your girlfriends some love. I have a habit of sending anonymous cards signed 'Your Girl Crush XX'.

Valentines day is also Singles Awareness Day (this has the unfortunate accronym of S.A.D).

Interesting Valentines Day traditions:

USA/CANADA
  • Valentine’s Day is widely observed in the US and Canada, and it is common for children to have classroom parties at school where they give their friends cards and small gifts. It is the second busiest day of the year for restaurants, behind Mother’s Day, and the second largest holiday for greeting card delivery, after Christmas.
ASIA
  • Japan: The Japanese typically spend three days dedicated to similar practices of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day itself is celebrated on February 14th as well as much of the rest of the world. On this day, women give the special men in their lives chocolates, usually homemade. Kiri-choco chocolate is for friends and family while hon-mei is for boyfriends and spouses. March 14th or “White Day” is a day when many men reciprocate these sentiments by giving women tokens of their love or even declaring their love for the first time.
  • Taiwan: On both Valentine’s Day and the holiday of the lunar calendar (July 7) flowers are given to women by the men. The flowers have great significance in their quantity. One rose means “a love” while 11 roses means “favorite,” 99 means “forever” and 108 roses means “Will you marry me?”
  • In South Korea, similar to Japan, women give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on March 14 (White Day). On April 14 (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on the 14th of Feb or March go to a Korean restaurant to eat black noodles.
  • Since 2004, couples from all over the Philippines gather to try and break the world record for the most people kissing simultaneously. The festival is held at city shopping malls across the country and takes places at midnight when couples must kiss for 10 seconds—or longer for those who get carried away
EUROPE
  • Austria: It is customary for a young man to present his beloved with a bunch of flowers - but he should find out what the women's favourite flowers are first.
  • Denmark: One custom is for people to send pressed white flowers called Snowdrops to their friends and lovers. Others visit the Little Mermaid, Den Lille Havfure in Copenhagen and the famous Tivoli amusement park, specially on Valentine’s Day. Danish also send gaekkebrev (joking letters,) rhyming messages signed with one dot for each letter in the name of the sender. If the receiver, usually a girl, guesses the name, then she is rewarded with… an Easter Egg later in the year!
  • In Norway, according to the legends, the sight of birds mating are a sure sign of spring and love. So Valentine's Day in Norway has become associated with that, and Norwegians tend to look for birds especially on February 14. Spring celebrations and Valentine's Day celebrations have become interlinked over the years.
  • In Lithuania and Latvia, it is common for people to put stickers on faces and clothing of a friend or a relative.
SOUTH AMERICA
  • In some Latin American countries Valentine's Day is known as "Día del Amor y la Amistad" (Day of Love and Friendship). For example Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Puerto Rico, as well as others. It is also common to see people perform "acts of appreciation" for their friends.
  • Brazil celebrates the “Day of the Enamored” on June 12 instead, with gifts exchanged between sweethearts.
  • In much of South America, the Amigo Secreto (secret friend) celebration combines with more traditional Valentine’s activities on February 14. Amigo Secreto involves giving anonymous gifts to friends, similar to a “Secret Santa” exchange.
MIDDLE EAST/ISRAEL
  • Though Saudi Arabia bans observation of Valentine’s Day, roses and Valentine’s cards flood the black market.
  • Tu B’Av in Israel corresponds to late August in the common calendar, and is similar to Valentine’s Day, with romantic dates, weddings and expressions of love.
  • In Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami political party has called for the banning of the holiday. Despite this, the celebration is increasingly popular and the florists expect to sell great amount of flowers, especially red roses.
  • The celebration of Valentine's Day in Iran has been harshly criticized by Islamic Teachers who see the celebrations as opposed to Islamic culture. In 2011, the Iranian printing works owners' union issued a directive banning the printing and distribution of any goods promoting the holiday, including cards, gifts and teddy bears.

3 comments:

  1. I love reading about holiday traditions, makes it feel less commercial. Will keep an eye out for paired birds today :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an interesting post!

    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! x

    ReplyDelete
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