The symbol of Valentine’s Day is the Roman god Cupid who is shown with a bow and arrow and it is believed that the one whom he hits with an arrow immediately falls in love. This holiday was named after Christian saint Valentine who lived in the 3rd century AD. However, the most popular story is the one in which Saint Valentine secretly wedded the Roman soldiers and their chosen companions. At that time the Roman emperor Claudius issued an order according to which Roman soldiers should not get married because it would disrupt their attention on the battlefield. Valentin ignored about the order and decided to actually marry anyone who wanted it, risking his life or ending up in prison. Unfortunately, that did happen on February 14th in the evening when he was decapitated head.
Traditions that people today practice to work on Valentine’s Day vary from society to society.
Oranges and Singapore
According to the Chinese calendar, Valentine’s Day falls on the 15th day of the New Year which is reserved for the traditional lantern festival. But couples from Singapore and Malaysia have developed their own traditions and one of them is related to oranges. Single women use the oranges to write their phone numbers on and then throw them into rivers and lakes. Later on, all single men take them out and eat them.
Japan large amounts of chocolate
Women on Valentine’s Day give chocolate to their partners, male co-workers and superiors while single girls give chocolate to their sympathies. A month later, on March 14 men have to give white chocolate to their loved ones (i.e. White Day).
Friendship Day in Finland
Finns Valentine’s Day is traditionally associated with friendship. They prepare creative greeting cards and small gifts for their partners, friends and family. The sender stays anonymous so the receiver has to guess or find out who is the person who remembered them on February 14th.
Italians sent letters to Juliet
Verona in Italy for Valentine’s Day in the spotlight. Love letters are written not only for the loved ones but also for Juliet, whose association later reads them and rewards the best.
Renewal of vows in France
A popular destination of lovers in France’s Saint-Valentin in the province of Indre. Couples often decide to renew vows and a village with 285 inhabitants is the perfect place for engagement, so that Valentine’s Day lasts longer than elsewhere – commemorative ceremonies are held for three days.
Danes send humorous love songs to their loved ones on Valentin’s Day. The songs are sent anonymously and the sender’s name is hidden in the lyrics. Lucky girl who receives the song has to figure out who sent it and has to do it until Easter. Â If successful, the sender gives her the Easter egg and if the turn fails, the sender can still detect it and then give the egg.
There is a custom that is done on Valentine’s Day – organized mass weddings. It is estimated that last year for Valentine’s Day has married more than 4,000 pairs. This year we have already started mass wedding in Philippine cities so that probably that number will be even higher.
German customs of Valentine’s Day are pretty ordinary. Exceptions are greeting cards where there are pictures of piglets because a pig was a symbol of happiness and lust in this country. In addition to this gift, the Germans love gingerbread and declare that says Ich liebe dich!
Slovenia has a tradition of celebrating love on March 12 when birds allegedly got married. Today, this tradition got forgotten but still there are people who give sweets shaped as birds to their loved ones, just as a faithful reminder to the former tradition.
Once upon a time in Norfolk in the UK, Jack Valentine (Old Father Valentine) visited children and gave them gifts and sweets night before Valentinâ€™s Day. They used to connect him to Santa Claus, but the only difference was the fact he did not draw up the chimney. The origin of this tradition is unknown but today many parents give presents to their children.