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Posted on: February 21st, 2017 | 0 Comments
The word for love is different in every language, but the feeling that it signifies is the same no matter where you’re from. With Valentine’s Day right this month, we thought it was the perfect time to share some of the special traditions and customs different cultures use to celebrate this unparalleled emotion all around the world.
The Daur people of China have a very special tradition for couples who become engaged. The couple dissects a chicken and inspects its liver. If the liver is in good, healthy shape, it is a good sign for that couple and a date can be set for the wedding. If the liver is not healthy, however, the couple must keep searching for a chicken with a healthy liver before they can begin their wedding planning.
The South Koreans love to celebrate love. So much so, in fact, that they celebrate it once a month. Not only do they look forward to Valentine’s Day on February 14th, just as we do in America, there is a love-related holiday on the 14th of every single month!
In Whales, Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, is celebrated instead of Saint Valentine. This celebration takes place on January 25th, with a traditional romantic Welsh gift of a love spoon given from a man to the woman he loves. These spoons are intricately carved and have different patterns and symbols on them, each with a different meaning.
In Rome, people attach padlocks to the Ponte Milvino. This has become a worldwide phenomenon, with couples from all over coming to put a lock on the bridge and toss the keys into the river, to symbolize their unbreakable commitment and love for each other.
In Verona, couples visit Casa di Giulietta, which is believed to have belonged to the Capulets (from Romeo and Juliette – all fictional characters, need we remind you!). Couples add notes and graffiti to the walls where one of the greatest love stories of all times is said to have taken place.
In Cambodia, parents of the Kreung tribe build love huts for their teenage daughters. Boys are invited into the hut to spend the night with the girl and get to know her (this includes love making). The girl keeps “talking” to different boys until she finds the one she wants to marry.
In Chile, both men and women wear engagement rings. They wear the rings on their right hands during the engagement and then switch them over to their left hands once they’re married. It’s custom for both the men and the women to show their commitment to each other during the engagement period.
Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day for women to give chocolate to the men in their lives, rather than the other way around! Not to worry ladies, the Japanese started a new holiday so women could receive gifts as well. White Day is celebrated on March 14th, one month after Valentine’s Day, and this is when men reciprocate and give gifts to the women they love.
When you ask the woman you love to marry you in Fiji, it’s tradition to present your father-in-law to-be with a whale’s tooth. Certainly, this is the perfect wedding gift!
Valentine’s Day is a popular holiday in the Philippines. So much so, in fact, that mass wedding ceremonies have become very popular on this day. Hundreds of couples gather at malls or in other public areas to get married or renew their vows.
In South Africa, it’s custom for women to wear their hearts on their sleeves on Valentine’s Day. Literally. They pin the name of their partner or love interest on their sleeve, which has let many a man know who is crushing on them!