Cupid goes on Vacation: Valentine’s Traditions Around the World
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that can mean only one thing... it’s almost time for all those boxes of chocolate to go on sale! Yay! Oh wait, AND it’s time to celebrate love. That’s nice too, of course.
Still, DBH understands that Valentine’s Day is not for everyone because — well — it’s kind of a weird holiday. Not only does it seem a little strange to wait for a flying fat baby to hit you with an arrow (do babies even have good hand-eye coordination?), but it also feels like the magic is somehow diminished when you have to celebrate love.
So, don’t force it! We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolate, roses, and awkwardly worded greeting cards this year. There are all sorts of other exciting ways to spend the dreaded V-Day and show your appreciation for that special someone in your life. Find yourself a pair of Cupid’s wings because we’re about to fly around the world to see just how everyone else celebrates love.
1) Be the Big Spoon
Don’t worry if you can’t think of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift this year because we’re going to celebrate St. Dwynwen's Day (January 25th) instead. What’s more romantic than roses? A wooden spoon, of course! Wait, huh?
St. Dwynwen's Day, or the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s Day, is celebrated by exchanging beautifully carved wooden spoons with the person you love. What’s more romantic than being given a fancy way to eat your food? Pretty much nothing. Food is love to us.
2) Love is Timeless
Guatemala’s El Día del Cariño on February 14th celebrates love, friendship, and family. It’s a wonderful day filled with brightly colored costumes, parades, and delicious food. If that wasn’t enough of a temptation for you though, then there’s also the annual “Old Love” parade.
The Old Love parade invites senior citizens to dress up in masks and traditional attire and dance around the city square together.
So, get out there and celebrate all the ways that love is timeless! No need to yell, “who could love a monster like me?” anymore because we’ve found a place where love can be celebrated by everyone — young and old alike ( even all of those old monsters with bolts in their necks).
3) You’ve Got a Friend in Estonia
If you’re not a fan of the romantic restrictions placed on Valentine’s Day, then head to Estonia for something a little different. The Estonians recognize that there is much more than just romantic love. Love is a wonderful emotion, no matter what form it takes.
Get ready for the ultimate Friend Zone because the Estonians celebrate Valentine’s Day as “Friend’s Day”. Now you’ll just have to buy even more Valentine’s Day cards.
4) All the Single People, Now Heat Your Noodles Up!
If you’re tired of those chalky heart-shaped candies, then head to South Korea. Don’t worry if you didn’t get anything special on Valentine’s Day, because the South Koreans have an entire day dedicated to all the single people out there. Beyoncé would be proud.
On April 14th, all of the single South Koreans don their darkest outfits and sit down together to enjoy a delicious plate of Jajangmyeon noodles or “Black Noodles” and revel in the misery of being alone. Who needs chocolate when you can have noodles and commiserate with your fellow singletons though? We already knew that noodles were our one true love, but this just makes it official.
5) I Love You As Much As I Have To...
If you’re thinking Valentine’s Day is a little over the top, just be thankful you don’t have to give Giri choco or “obligation chocolate” on top of it! The Japanese celebrate Valentine’s Day with all sorts of complex and multi-meaning chocolate gifts.
No need to agonize over if you’re just a friend because in Japan the cheaper “obligation” chocolate is reserved for coworkers, acquaintances, and that one weird nosy neighbor. That’s so sweet! You shouldn’t have! Wait, really, you shouldn’t have...
We hope you’ve found the perfect new Valentine’s tradition like a Black Noodle evening or a wooden spoon party this year!
But, if none of these are the Valentine’s traditions for you, then don’t worry because DBH is here to help play Cupid. We won’t throw you to the Valentine’s Day sharks without helping you find the perfect gift first.