Love Makes The World Go Round
Ahh, the romance! Love is in the air today, all across the US. Don’t you just love having a day to celebrate those special ones in our lives?
Valentine’s Day has is deep-rooted in an ancient Roman tradition called Lupercalia. Originally celebrated on February 15, Valentine’s Day was a celebration of purification and fertility. Today, sweethearts around the world commemorate Saint Valentine on this day, February 14.
Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world? Different countries have some interesting variations as to how they celebrate this day.
Here is a short round-up:
1. United States
Well, we all know, many cupids go all-out for their loved ones on this day. It is estimated that US Valentine's Day gift-givers will spend a record-breaking $20.7 billion this year. Seniors (over 65) are expected to spend $111 this year on their loved ones and expenditures range up to older millennials (39-44), who are projected to spend $268 each.
Americans spend money on candy, cards, chocolates, flowers and jewelry. Greeting cards are the most common gift, given by Americans from pre-schoolers to seniors. America’s most popular Valentine’s Day candy are the little conversation hearts with messages. This year, the company closed their doors after decades of making hearts skip a beat. Their company was bought out and conversation hearts are expected to be produced again and ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 2020. This year, dark chocolates will have to do! (Okay, that’s a personal preference!)
2. United Kingdom
Valentine’s Day is serious business in the UK! The Isles are full of lovebirds exchanging gifts of flowers, chocolates and jewelry as well as special dinners on the town. Some do opt for a private, candle-lit dinner at home though, to avoid the masses. Regardless, love is in the air in the UK!
Ahh, now this is right up your alley if you’re a fan of Orchids. Most Peruvians are on holiday on February 14 (Peruvian Carnival Celebration festivities are already underway there). Instead of exchanging roses as we do in the US, orchids are the flower of choice as they are a flower native to their country. Valentine’s Day is a popular day for Peruvian weddings so, group/mass weddings are held in order to accommodate all of the couples saying “I do” on the most romantic day of the year.
Finland is the place to be if you don’t have a significant other! Why? In Finland, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating friendship, thus the holiday is so aptly called ‘Friend’s Day’ in Finland. This is the day to celebrate friends…and the pink rose - the preferred flower there. Lovers also receive gifts, cards or candy as well.
The men are pampered in this part of the world on Valentine’s Day. Women buy their men, co-workers (men) and male family members chocolates as a token of their affection and appreciation. There are two different types of chocolates that the women gift the men in their lives - giri choco (obligation chocolate), for friends & colleagues, and honmei choco (true feeling chocolate), for someone for whom she has romantic feelings. The favor is returned on March 14, when the men reciprocate with cake, candy and flowers.
Yes, I saved this one for last - I mean, Paris IS the city that we all know of as the capital of romance, no? Well, Paris may be known as the city of love, but the village of Saint-Valentin, located south of the capital, is the country’s romantic epicenter on Valentine’s Day. And, Valentine’s day in France is only for people “in” love, not just loving/friendship gestures as we practice in America. The village of Saint-Valentin hosts two-day festival, which includes exhibitions, walks and the oh-so-romantic candlelit dinners. This is truly the heart of France when it comes to celebrations of the heart! Other attractions including the Lovers’ Garden is also found in the village of Saint-Valentin. Here couples can dedicate a tree to each other. How romantic!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Love Makes The World Go Round