Did You Know?
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love in most countries and regions of the world. But every country has its own unique way to celebrate and the celebration may occur at a different time of year. In North America, February 14th is our day devoted to love.
Around the World on Valentine’s Day
In South Korea and Japan, the custom seems to be reversed. It is the women who give chocolate to the men on February 14. But the gift giving is reciprocal. The men give non-chocolate candies to the women on March 14, known as White Day.
In Japan, women traditionally give chocolate to their co-workers on Valentine’s Day and it is known that many Japanese chocolate companies make about half their yearly income at this time.
In Korea, there is even a strong stigma for those who did not receive any gift. It is said that a month later, on April 14, known as Black Day, those who did not receive anything on the two gift giving days will go to a restaurant and order black noodles to symbolize the sorry state of being single.
In Taiwan, the gift giving is reversed. Men give Valentine’s Day gifts and women reciprocate on White Day.
But in China, it is the man who gives chocolate and flowers to his beloved woman.
It seems that Hindu and Islamic traditionalists in India as well as many extremists in the Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran consider Valentine’s Day and the giving of these gifts as “cultural contamination from the West.” In these cultures they prohibit the public display and admission of love. No wonder the extremists do not understand our Western way of life and love.
In Israeli culture, there is a day marked as the festival of love, although it is at a different time during the year.
In most of Latin America, Valentine’s Day is known as a Day of Love and Friendship.
In Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Costa Rica, people show appreciation for their friends.
And in many Latin American countries there is also a tradition of giving an anonymous gift to a “Secret Friend,” often one who is randomly chosen.
European countries also celebrate Valentine’s Day but with varying specific customs.
In Denmark and Norway, couples may share a romantic dinner.
In Finland it is more a day of remembering friends.
In Lithuania and Latvia, people often put stickers on the faces and clothing of a friend;
And in most regions of the UK, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with flowers, chocolates and gifts just as in North America.
The specific way to celebrate love may be different in each country or region, but the goal is to express and feel that love.
I believe that nothing is more important than love for growing and thriving in this lifetime. And nothing is more healing and powerful than the love you feel for yourself.
Who is the person that matters most to you in this world?
What can you do NOW to show that you love YOU?
Send yourself an adoring Valentine. Buy yourself a beautiful heart shaped chocolate.
Don’t spend another Valentine’s Day feeling alone, lonely, unappreciated by your partner, unloved and unloving. You deserve to feel the love that is your birthright and is all around you when your heart is truly open.
Let this be YOUR YEAR FOR LOVE.
With love and a huge Valentine’s Day hug,