Valentine’s day in different cultures

By Nadine Loureiro

Valentine’s Day is a special holiday marked with a heart around its date on the calendar; it is a  day dedicated to love and romance. People all around the world celebrate the event with their significant others, expressing their love in a multitude of ways, scaling from small to large surprises.

Our own Principal Dan Serrano has his own Valentine’s day tradition with his wife, “We had Valentines coffee cups, so in the morning I gave her coffee to go,” Serrano continued, “every February we just use those.”

In America, the love holiday has the same customs throughout all of the states. Buying flowers, usually roses, going out on dates, gifting them with the teddy bears that come year round in stores nationwide, heart shaped chocolates, and silly cards. The genuine, cute gestures that come wrapped up in pink, red, and white colors.

It makes you wonder, do other countries follow the same pattern?

Senior Gabriel Aracena is a foreign exchange student from Brazil. The international student has seen the contrast between America’s typical month of romance and Brazil’s, “we do celebrate Valentine’s day in Brazil. However, we do not celebrate it in February, instead we celebrate it on June 12th,” Aracena continued, “it is the Eve of Santo Antonio day, which is believed to be a wedding Saint in Portugal.”

However, traditions are still similar between couples in Brazil and America.

“Normally the couples exchange presents and gifts, they go to a romantic place to enjoy the day or they just spend the day together,” Aracena stated.

There are other countries that do not pay much attention to the love related holiday, for instance, Spain.

Another exchange student shared about the cultural differences surrounding the holiday, this time from Spain.

Sophomore Anna Lafuente said, “I mean, if you have a boyfriend or something it’s just like ‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’ and maybe you go on a date or something, but it’s not a major thing.” In Spain there are no other holidays around that time, Valentine’s day being the only “holiday” that is somewhat celebrated.”

In another section of the world, there are other ways that the holiday is celebrated, even taking more than just one day on the calendar.

Japan and South Korea have a unique way of spending Valentine’s day. On Feb. 14, the women give chocolate to their significant others. The favor is returned on Mar. 14, also known as “White Day”, where the men give chocolate to their other halves, usually being white chocolate, matching the name. An addition to the string of days, South Korea has a day known as “Black Day” on Apr. 14, a day dedicated to the single citizens.

There are a variety of other ways Valentine’s day is celebrated around the world, being carried out by the different cultures that makes the world unique. One common factor that all of them do share, no matter how differently it is celebrated, is the infectious feeling of love in the air.

Love is the piece of the puzzle that truly connects each section of the vast, large world together.

Photo Credit: tdlucas5000

Leave a Reply