While you are still thinking whether to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, around the world lovers and singles alike are getting ready for the love-filled day on February 14.
Flowers, chocolates, teddy bears-these are some of the things that you will commonly see on Valentines. And while lovers may be excited, some feel less so. However, there are cultures around the world that celebrate Valentine’s Day a little different. While to them these traditions are normal and common, to the others they seem very strange. Here are some of the most surprising Valentine’s facts and traditions to ever exist:
Every Valentine’s Day, there is a certain activity that single people usually participate in. Called “une loterie d’amour” or “drawing for love”, men and women would go into houses that face one another and would shout and call the opposite sex at the top of their lungs until they find a match. At the end of the day, the girls who don’t get picked get together in a massive bonfire and would curse and throw stuff at the fire that belongs to the men that rejected them.
Instead of flowers, Welsh men give intricate, handmade wooden spoons to their partners or the girls they woo. It stemmed from an old Welsh tradition way back in the 17th century, as they consider it affectionate for men to carve beautiful wooden spoons and give it to women. They call them love spoons and each spoon’s design represents a certain meaning. This practice still exists today.
Traditionally, the men had to give flowers and other love tokens to the girls or people they like during Valentine’s Day. But in Japan, it’s the other way around. During February 14, Japanese girls all over the country give chocolates to the boys they like or love. They call those cholocates “honmei-choko.” Don’t worry. Every March 14th it’s the guys’ turn to give love tokens to the girls. They call this tradition “White Day”.
For the Chinese, February 14 symbolizes the annual get-together of Zhinu and Niulang, two characters from a Chinese lore that meet only once a year because of the disapproval of Zhinu’s father, the king of the heavens. It’s called Qixi and it is traditional for girls to offer fruits to Zhinu in the hopes of finding a good husband. Lovers also commonly go to temples for their dates so they can pray for lifetime happiness.
Why not using some of these traditions to surprise your beloved one? Just make sure it will bring smile to their face!