Love is in the Air! 5 Valentine's Day Traditions Around the World

Real Estate Agent with Samson Properties VA0225077251

And just like that, it's February! I know we barely started the year, and now it's all about love all over again. Each of us have our own love languages, and love comes in different shapes and sizes. So today, we'll talk about the unique traditions the Valentine's Day is celebrated around the world.

1. Estonia

Starting this list is Estonia and their not-so-weird way of celebrating the Valentine's Day, but might break some hearts along the way. Their Valentine's Day is called Sōbrapäev, which translates to "Friends Day" -- probably something you don't want to hear from your crush.

four person standing beside wall

2. France

French people is all about love, and this is proven by one of their traditions. Une loterie d'amour, as they call it, saw hopeful singles line up in front of each other's houses and make calls through the windows until they found a match.

For some unlucky folks, they lit a massive bonfire, ceremonially burning pictures of the men who had rejected them while screaming insults into the heavens, after being left without a spouse for a long period of time. Sadly, the government banned this event, but it was fun while it lasted.

3. Philippines

Sponsored by the government, those people that can't afford to have a wedding can go jump to a mass wedding every February 14 as a sign of love and passion. Even rings are provided by the government as a symbol of love and commitment.

gold wedding band on white textile

4. Norway

Gaekkebrev, a Norwegian tradition that dates back to the 18th century and is generally translated as "funny letters," is more romantic than it seems. Before carving elaborate designs onto the paper and putting a small white Snowdrop flower within, secret admirers write poetry to their sweetheart. The signature – or rather, its omission – in the letter is the source of the 'joke.' Instead, each letter of a poet's name is marked with a dot.

At Easter, the lady will be awarded an Easter egg if she correctly identifies who her admirer is. If she doesn't, she'll have to give him one instead.

purple flowers on paper

5. Japan

They say that life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're gonna get. In Japan, it's the girls' turn to initiate their way of expressing love to someone -- by giving chocolates. Take note, though, that it's the type of chocolate that counts.

High-quality chocolates called honmei-choco (true feeling chocolates) are given to their husbands or boyfriends. For colleagues and friends, though, they usually give out giri-choco (obligation chocolate). We all hope that we don't get the cho-giri choco (ultra obligation chocolate) though, as it is given to those people that is the most unpopular or just straight up least desirable. Oof!

After receiving the chocolates, though, those who received chocolates would have to return the favor on White Day, March 14. It is a custom to give back twice or thrice the chocolate they received such as extravagant gifts like jewelry.

chocolates with box on white surface

Did you like this list? How do you plan to celebrate Valentine's Day this year with your loved ones? Let me know in the comments below!

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Samson Properties
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Residential real estate agent serving Northern Virginia in Fairfax & Loudoun county over a decade and almost $100+M in sales volume experience. 


Comments (2)

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Yes, I did enjoy the list and would have loved to be in France watching the antics at the big bonfires.  I can almost imagine that scene. 

I think I would pass on those ultra obligation chocolates in Japan.

We usually enjoy and nice dinner together as our tradition.  I generally do the cooking and let Mary Margaret pick what she would like.  There maybe a few flowers in the picture too.

Have a great February and enjoy your Valentine's Day.

Feb 01, 2022 10:24 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I did enjoy the traditions of each country Ritu Desai 703-625-4949 especially the French. Leave it to the French government to wreck something good and hooray for the Philippians for helping love along with mass weddings and free rings. 

Feb 09, 2022 01:52 PM