Valentines Day Around The World

Here at Uniontown students are making Monday night dinner reservations , buying gifts for their significant others, and waiting to see if they will receive a teddy gram. In America these are all normal things to do in preparation for Valentines day but have we ever stopped to consider why we do them. Valentines day was originally a feast day for Saint Valentine. He was priest who illegally married soldiers who were forbidden to wed and thus became a martyr in the name of love when he was executed for his crimes. While few people still remember this story the celebration of love is still widespread tradition, not just in America but around the world.

The first believed Valentines-day-type celebration dates all the way back to ancient Rome and was called the Lupercalia Festival. The festivities were focused less around love and more on fertility, none the less it was tradition to pare couples up ,at the festival, by drawing names from a box. The valentines day we know today originated some time between the 1600’s and 1800’s in England and was popularized by a book called The Young Man’s Valentine. While they shared many traditions with our modern celebrations, such as exchanging cards and giving gifts to your partner, they also participated in some rituals modern celebrators would find strange. In addition to the valentine they gave to their romantic suitors many also handed out vinegar valentines, that were meant to insult the receiver. From these historical celebrations Americans have formed the modern Valentines day.

Similarly, in other countries they celebrate days of love, days of exchanging gifts and other celebrations similar to the American Valentines day. Countries in Asia, such as China and Japan, put a spin on traditional valentines day by making it a day to get their partners who are men gifts and creating “White Day” which is March 14th and is a day to give gifts to their partners who are women. Other countries have similar days of love, with gift exchanges and celebrations. In Wales on January 25th, they have “The Day of San Dwywen” were the exchange hand crafted wooden spoons. And in Spain the have parades and feasts on Oct 9th in celebration of St. Dionysus’s, the saint of love, feast day. Some countries think one day is not enough to celebrate love. In South Korea, they have a monthly celebration on the 14th. June is “The Day of Kisses”, May is “The Day of Roses, and so on. Argentina has week long celebration in July, called “The Week of Sweetness.” While every culture has their own unique way of expressing it, they all love love and there is no denying that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.