With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to compile a list of some fun and unique ways that V-day is celebrated all over the world. Enjoy reading! :)
Let's start off with our very own country, the Philippines. Here, Valentine's Day is celebrated not just by couples, but by thousands of lovers gathered together in one place to claim the world record for the Most Number of Simultaneously Kissing Couples. Started in 2004 and termed Lovapalooza, the country got the record high of 6,124 Filipino couples kissing simultaneously for 10 seconds. However, this record was beaten by Bosnia, with a current record of 6,980 couples (13,960 participants).
Another famous V-day tradition is that of Japan's. On February 14th, women are required to give chocolates (termed as "Giri-choko" meaning "obligatory chocolate") to their male colleagues and/or bosses. They give their partners (boyfriend or husband) special gifts plus chocolates called "Honmei-choko" meaning "prospective chocolate".
A follow-up to Valentine's Day is Japan's White Day, celebrated on March 14th. In return, men show their gratitude to their women colleagues by giving them white chocolates. And for the special women in their lives, men give them gifts such as lingerie and jewelry.
Korea's V-day tradition is much like that of Japan's. Women also give chocolates to men on February 14, and men give gifts on March 14. The only difference is that in Korea, they have a third celebration on April 14, known as the Black Day, where men who have no romantic partners get together and partake of black noodles called Jajang noodles.
In Thailand, weddings have been uniquely celebrated on Valentine's day, such as having the world's largest bride and groom (two elephants), the world's largest mass wedding, and the world's largest underwater wedding.
Taiwan celebrates V-day on two dates, February 14 and July 7. On these dates, men express their love for the women in their lives by giving them roses, the number of which is significant. One rose means "only love". Eleven means "a favorite", ninety-nine means "forever", and 108 roses means "marry me".
In China, V-day is normally celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. Lovers (and even singles) crowd the Temple of Matchmaker to pray for love and happiness. Also, this day is set aside for girls to make any wish at all. Modern tradition puts a new twist to this holiday when hotels give discounts for couples. Not only is the room discounted, but also only on this day, the hotels will not check for marriage certificates (on any other day, Chinese law requires hotels to verify marriage certificates before allowing couples to check in).
In Italy, women do not only get roses and/or chocolates on Valentine's Day. If they're lucky, they can also get a marriage proposal and an engagement ring, as it is customary in this country to get engaged on this special holiday.
Such is the case in Israel, where V-Day is also a popular time for marriage proposals to be made.
Wherever in the world you are, make Valentine's Day extra special. This is just one day of the year when the whole world celebrates the joy of being loved and having someone to love. Whether you are single, married, or in a complicated relationship, V-Day should be a day of celebration and happy memories.
Click here for wonderful Valentine's Day gift ideas that will surely make your loved-ones smile! :)