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Valentine’s Day: Inspiring Traditions From Across the World

Every year on February 14th, people engage in a ritual of expressing their love. We exchange cards, offer gifts of candy and flowers, all in the name of showing our loved ones how we feel. While romance is certainly a theme of Valentine’s Day, a holiday in honor of the Christian martyr “Valentine,” Americans celebrate the day by honoring familial relationships, too.

Find out how other countries celebrate this special day, and take inspiration for creating new, alternative ways of expressing your love.


Canadians celebrate Valentine’s Day in much the same way as Americans. The holiday activities may consist of special dates, featuring romantic dinners, or a night at home. Gifts range from cards, flowers, candies and chocolates.


Across the pond, people celebrate Valentine’s Day with gusto. One special custom is for children to sing special songs, who are then “rewarded” with money, candy or fruit. Brits also honor the occasion by baking valentine buns made with plums, caraway seeds or raisins. The country’s residents also celebrate by penning Valentine’s Day sonnets.


In Italy, Valentine’s Day was once a Spring Festival. These open-air gatherings included music, poetry readings and food. However, modern-day celebrations are similar to American activities, except the holiday is strictly observed by lovers, and does not include family members.


A holiday strictly reserved for the young in Denmark, Valentine’s Day is an occasion to send a “lover’s card,” a “snowdrop” (a card feature pressed white flowers), or a “joking letter” (sent by a man to a woman).


In this country, Valentine’s Day lasts for a month, from February 14 to March 14. It’s also referred to as “White Day.” Women typically start the season off, delivering gifts of hand-made chocolates to their special guy, as well as close friends and coworkers. Men, in turn, respond on March 14, sending a gift to the ladies who sent them a treat.

Get in the spirit of the holiday and be sure to send your loved ones a special treat this Valentine’s Day.

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