Valentine’s Day Traditions

Delainey Root, MVC Writer

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with candy, flowers, couples, and cards. All over the world, people celebrate the people they care for in different ways. 

In Japan, women present gifts to men. They either give “Giri-choco” or “Honmei-choco.” “Giri-choco” is given to friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends. The translation for “Giri” is “obligation. Therefore, “Giri-choco” has no romantic intentions involved. Honmei-choco is given to lovers, boyfriends, or husbands. Many Japanese women make their own chocolate because they feel that pre-made chocolate bought at the store does not signify true love. 

Valentine’s Day is slowly becoming more and more popular in China. The Qixi festival is commonly considered Chinese Valentine’s Day. This celebration takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar (this normally occurs around August). The celebration is based on a romantic legend about a weaver girl and an ox herder. Chinese women celebrate by praying for good husbands and sewing skills. Slowly, the Chinese celebration is starting to change into a celebration more similar to Western Valentine’s Day. 

Welsh people celebrate Saint Dwynwen, on January 25. This celebrates the Welsh patron of love. They gift spoons called “love spoons.” In times as early as the 17th century, Welsh men carved wooden spoons as a token of affection. There were certain symbols carved into the spoons that all signify different meanings. Horseshoes stand for luck, wheels symbolize support, and keys symbolize the key to a man’s heart, for example. 

In South Africa, they follow an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia. Women pin the name of their love interests onto their sleeves. Lovers also exchange flowers and gifts to their significant other. 

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in different ways and at different times, but it is always used to show love. No matter where someone lives they still show appreciation and love to their friends, family, and lovers.