Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year because it exemplifies love, friendship and passion. In my opinion, this is the real meaning of life. I am passionate about my relationships, my business, and above all my family. My family is my world!
There are several stories about who Saint Valentines was: one dates to Roman times, another from the 17th century. In both cases the tradition can be traced to a priest who married young couples in secret. Whatever the true story may be, love is a global phenomenon and Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world in fascinating and different ways.
Here is how a few countries celebrate Valentine’s Day:
Of course in Italy, the “Day of Love” is celebrated in classic style with a spring Festival! On Valentine’s day couples get together to enjoy music, poetry and exchange gifts like the “baci perugina,” a box of small hazelnut-filled chocolate “kisses” (baci means “kiss” in Italian). This box will be accompanied with a romantic quote printed in four languages. Also, according to old tradition, the first man a girl sees that day will become her husband and they would be married within a year.
Paris, “The city of love” is practically the world capital of Valentine’s Day, as couples from around the globe flock here for the special day. On Valentine’s Day, lovers in France exchange letters and cards, a world-wide tradition that claims its origins in France! History says that the Duke of Orleans, Charles, wrote the first Valentine’s card, because he signed his poem as “Your Valentine”.
In China the equivalent of Valentine’s Day is the “Qixi Festival”, which means “The Night of Seven”, and is celebrated usually in early August, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. This tradition recalls an old ancestral story that has been passed from generation to generation for centuries.
If flowers are romantic, then Taiwan, which is world famous for its flowers, boasts the most romantic celebration in the world! And they celebrate it twice a year: February 14th and also on July 7th. Here the men are expected to give bouquets of flowers to their beloved one. According to Taiwanese tradition, the color and number of flowers will represent an important message…. red roses will represent “an only love”, ninety-nine roses will express “love forever”, and 108 roses signifies popping “The question”…”Will you marry me?”
If you are looking for a huge party, Brazil’s Carnival is often running during all of February or March each year, coinciding with Valentine’s Day. The local equivalent to Valentine’s Day is “Dia dos enamorados” or “Lovers day” and is on June 12th. Brazilians love to exchange chocolates, flowers, cards etc… but in addition, musical performances are held throughout cities and towns, bringing together couples and families from all elements of society. Brazilians also celebrate “Saint Anthony’s Day,” which commemorates the patron saint of marriage.
Chile is known as “the land of poets”, and it is true that Chileans are really romantic too. The “Dia de San Valentin” is anticipated greatly by lovers. Chileans love to celebrate and Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for couples, who celebrate with true excitement. It’s typical to walk around the city and see decorations all around as shops, malls and streets are beautifully decorated with flowers, balloons, and heart garlands.
No matter where we live – bring Valentine’s Day into your home! Have fun with a new decorative wreath on your front door or stylish heart pillows on your sofa. Take your sweetheart out for dinner to one of our many great local restaurants. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? I would love to hear from you!