Valentine’s Around the World


Faith Messenger

Faith Messenger

February 14, this date marks a significant meaning for some. Many traditions are held on this day.

Although no one knows the true meaning behind Valentine’s Day, it is contributed to the legend of St. Valentine. Saint Valentine is recognized in the Catholic Church. One of three myths are: Valentine served as a priest in the third century Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided single men without families made better soldiers than those with, he outlawed marriage.

It is said that the first Valentine’s Day greeting was sent by Valentine, himself. Another myths is: Valentine fell in love with a jailor’s daughter who visited with him while imprisoned; it is said that her wrote her a letter signed “From Your Valentine”.

In the U.S., Valentine’s Day is typically filled with candy, flowers, cards and dinners, regardless of its origin.

The United Kingdom holds traditions of sending anonymous valentine cards to romanic interests; it is believed to be bad luck if a name is signed. The tradition of rose giving began in the United Kingdom.

Those who live in Wales honor St. Dwynwen’s Day on Jan. 25 instead of the typical love celebration of Feb. 14. Saint Dwynwen was a Welsh saint of lovers and men traditionally gift giving hand-carved wooden spoons, which began when Welsh sailors would bring back wooden spoons with designs to their lovers.

In Japan, women hold the role of making first moves on Valentine’s Day. One of the most popular gifts given is homemade chocolate, also referred to honmei-choco. Men return the favor on March 14, known as White Day, with white chocolate and other gifts to express their affection.

Women in South Korea also give gifts to the men on Valentine’s Day, then men celebrate White Day. South Korea holds a third holiday, known as Black Day. The holiday is held on April 14 and celebrates those who are single.

Feb. 14 is dedicated to St. Valentine by holding a prime day for working. Slovenians celebrate their romance about a month later on March 12, which they refer to St. Gregory’s Day.

Finland and Estonia celebrate “Friend’s Day” on Feb. 14. This is a day held to honor both friends and significant others. Anyone ranging from best friend to neighbor can receive cards and gifts. Single people can take a ride on the “Love Bus” with hopes of meeting someone special.

Valentine’s today can be referenced to heart-shaped items, cupid and roses.

Regardless of how Feb. 14 is spent for you, this day can be concluded to the same thing: telling those you love how much you appreciate them, with or without gifts.