Here are a few Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world…DENMARK
The country started celebrating in the early 1990s with a Danish twist. Rather than roses, friends and sweethearts exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops. Men also give women a “joking letter” consisting of a funny poem or rhyme. If a woman who receives the letter can correctly guess the sender, she’ll get an Easter egg later that year.
It’s been said that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when the Duke of Orleans sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. A traditional event was the “drawing for love.” Men and women would fill houses that faced one another, and then take turns calling out to one another and pairing off. Men who didn’t like their match could leave a woman for another, and the women left unmatched gathered afterward for a bonfire. At the fire women would burn pictures of the men who wronged them and swear and insult the opposite sex. The event became so uncontrollable the government eventually banned the tradition.
The gift-giving starts February 14th, when it’s up to women to woo their men with chocolates, candies and flowers. On March 14th, known as White Day, men shower their sweethearts with chocolates, flowers and gifts. For those who don’t have much to celebrate on either Valentine’s or White Day, there is a third holiday called Black Day. On April 14th, singles mourn their status by eating dark bowls of black bean-paste noodles.
You won’t find the Welsh celebrating St. Valentine. instead, they celebrate St. Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers on January 25th. A traditional romantic gift is a love spoon. Men carved intricate wooden spoons as a token of affection. Spoons are also exchanged at wedding, anniversaries and births.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, women used to place 5 bay leaves on their pillows. One at each corner and one in the centre. Why? To bring dreams of their future husbands.
Mass weddings have swept the country. On Valentine’s Day hundreds of couples gather at malls and other public areas to get married or renew their vows with a huge group of people.
Young, unmarried girls wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief is that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the man she would marry within a year. Or he’d strongly resemble the man she would marry.
People celebrate with festivals, flowers and other tokens of love. It’s also customary for women to wear their hearts on their sleeves on Valentine’s Day. Women pin the names of their love interests on their sleeves and this how men learn they have secret admirers.
Have to go now…according to Viator Travel…I need bay leaves and a spoon rack.
Happy Valentine’s Day ~ chrislukas