9 Valentine’s Day Traditions from around the Globe

9 Valentine’s Day Traditions from around the Globe

Skip the roses and chocolates for one of these 9 traditions from around the world.


Valentine’s Day may have its origins in the West, but an array of countries from China to Chile have their unique customs dedicated to celebrating love. Some of the following rituals from around the globe offer fun new ways to say, “I love you!”

1. Germany: People exchange little cupid-like flying pigs that symbolize lust and luck, as well as large heart-shaped ginger cookies decorated with messages like “Kiss Me.”

2. Italy: Italians attach padlocks to bridges, railings and lampposts and toss away the key to profess their love to paramours, inspired by the novel and movie “I Want You.”

3. Denmark: Danish men send cards with rhyming verse or a funny note, signed in dots — one for each letter of the anonymous sender’s name. If a woman guesses her special someone, she receives an Easter egg.

4. Columbia, Costa Rica and Mexico: People exchange “acts of appreciation” instead of gifts, while other countries give gifts anonymously.

5. Argentina: People celebrate for a whole week — Sweetness Week in July, when people offer candy in exchange for a kiss.

6. In Japan: Women give male co-workers chocolates on February 14th. A month later, March 14th is White Day when men reciprocate by giving white chocolates to the women.

7. Korea: Koreans commemorate love on the 14th of every month with June’s Kiss Day, December’s Hug Day, Valentine’s Day in February, White Day in March and April’s Black Day for singles.

8. Malaysia: Single women write their phone number on an orange and toss it into the river for fruit vendors to collect and resell.

9. South Africa: Women wear their heart on their sleeve by pinning the name of their secret love on their shirt, an ancient Roman tradition among soldiers.

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