Saint Valentine's Day festival is celebrated in a big way in countries around the world ! It is interesting to note that the popularity of this ancient festival has grown several folds and is said to be increasing by the year as more and more people are getting influenced by idea of celebrating love and lovers. The present generation holds the festival in high regard and celebrates the day by expressing love not just to their sweethearts but everyone they hold dear and special.
howIn the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts
Love is in the air. And love, like air, knows no boundaries. Be it in any country or community, the celebration of love is a universal phenomenon. However, even though Valentine's Day is celebrated in full zest and fervor all over the world, the expression of this tender affection differs from place to place. Besides the typical roses, wine and Valentine's Day cards, let's roam the world and take a peep at how couples in different parts of the world celebrate this holiday filled with love, romance and friendship in their own unique way!
Y In Japan, the land of the Rising Sun, it is common for a woman to give a box of chocolates to her superiors, colleagues and male friends as a token of gratitude or friendship. These chocolates are otherwise known as? Giri-choko?, which means obligatory chocolate.
However, a woman may also express her feelings for a man she loves by giving special gifts, such as neckties or wallets, coupled with a box of chocolates. In this case, these chocolates are known as? Honmei-choko, which means prospective chocolate.
Regardless if you are a receiver of Giri-choko or Honmei-choko, don't forget to return a gift of chocolates a month later on March 14, White Day. White Day offers the men a chance to return the favors they received on Valentine's Day. On this day, the chocolates are usually either white chocolate or they come in white boxes.
Y In France, previously, the people in France used to celebrate Valentine's Day in a peculiar fashion. On Valentine's Day, Is that unmarried people would go into houses facing each other and call out across from one window to another and pair off with their chosen partner. However, if the young man is unhappy with his valentine, he would desert her and a bonfire would be lit later where ladies would burn images of their ungrateful lovers and hurl abuses at them. Eventually, the French government handed-down a decree and officially banned the custom.
These days, the celebration of Valentine's Day in France is kept simple. Couples in France exchange Valentine's Day greetings through cards, fresh flowers and gifts of love.
Y In China, people in China typically do not celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14. Instead, the Chinese Valentine's Day falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar.
Interestingly, a legend lies behind festival of Valentine's Day in China. It was said that two lovers, the Weaving Maid (seventh daughter of the Emperor of Heaven) and the Cowherd, were separated by a Milky Way between them. The Weaving Maid resided in star Vega whiles the cowherd with lived in star Altair. Only once a year, on this particular day, then would the couple be allowed to meet.
Hence, on the Chinese Valentine's Day, the Temple of Matchmaker would be packed with lovers praying for love and happiness. Singles could also ask for their luck in love. There is also a traditional custom of girls putting a needle on water surface when star Vega is high up in the sky. If the needle floats, this means that the girl is ready to find a husband. In addition, girls may also ask for any wish on this day, but only one for the year.
Y In Scotland, unmarried males and females will gather at a festival in celebration of Valentine's Day. Each of them would write their name (or even a made-up name!) on a piece of paper, fold it, and then place into a hat, one for the ladies and one for the men.
The ladies would first draw a name from the hat containing the men's names and vice versa. Well, in the case where the two drawn names do not match, it is usually expected that the male pairs up with the female who had elected his name. After this, the people would then split up into their respective couples and the men would present a gift to the ladies. The ladies would pin the name of their partner over their hearts or on their sleeves.
A dance often follows and at the end of the festival, marriages might even take place if all went well!
Y In Australia, instead of giving chocolate, a card, or even a gold necklace to your sweetheart on February 14, satin cushions, sometimes embellished with flowers, colored shells, a stuffed hummingbird or bird of paradise, are given. This tradition of elaborate gift-giving began during the gold rush period in Australia, the profits of which allowed people to buy their loved ones more extravagant gifts on Valentine's Day.
Y Brazilians do not celebrate Valentine's Day, at least not on February 14. Instead they celebrate Dia dos Namorados, or Day of the Enamored, on June 12 each year. Large parties, dancing, sporting competitions, and concerts are just a few of the ways that locals (and tourists) celebrate Dia dos Namorados. It is not unusual for couples in Brazil to look for new and unique ways to make a "grand gesture" or surprise their partner to celebrate this holiday. For example, some lovers send each other messages for the entire day.
Y In USA, Valentine's Day festival has been commercialized to a great extent. It is estimated that Valentine's Day is the major card and gift giving festival in US. Days before the festival markets wear a festive look to lure consumers. Popular gifts exchanged on the day include cards, fresh flowers- mainly rose, chocolates and candies. These days, people also complement these with other gifts of love to express affection and love.
Valentine's Day dinner and dance parties are organized all over the country to celebrate the occasion. Many couples hold private celebrations in homes or restaurants.
Y Valentines Day festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Canada. Valentine's Day balls and parties are organized all over the country where people express love for their spouses and sweethearts and enjoy to the hilt. Roses, chocolates, candies and cards are the most popular gifts for the romantic occasion.
As a tradition, children in Canada exchange Valentine's Day gifts with their friends. In several schools, classroom Valentine's Day Parties are organized where children put all the valentines in a decorated box. Later, teacher or a child distributes the cards. Kids are encouraged to prepare handmade valentine. Many children also gift fancy Valentines Day card to parents and teachers. Songs, skits, plays and concerts are also organized by schools and societies to celebrate Valentine's Day. Students in senior school hold Valentine's Day dance parties to cherish the joyful festival.
Y In Britain, St. Valen-tine's Day is celebrated with gaiety, enthusiasm and charm in Britain. Just as in many other countries, people in Britain express love for their beloved on this day by presenting those flowers, cards, chocolates and other special gifts. Different regions of the country have their specific traditions to celebrate Valentine's Day but one uniform custom is the singing of special songs by children. These children are rewarded with gifts of candy, fruit or money. In some regions delectable Valentine buns are baked with caraway seeds, plums or raisins.
Y In India, Valentine's Day celebration is a recent phenomenon in India but has caught the fancy of people to a great extent. Though some see it as a western import and hesitate to celebrate, there exist a large and growing number of those who love the feeling behind the beautiful and romantic festival. Especially to the Indian youth February 14 signifies love - a day when people express their affection for others. Just as several other countries, people in India too celebrate the Valentine's Day by exchanging cards and gifts.
Euphoria of Valentine's Day festival can be experienced weeks before the festival. Television, radio and print media start creating hype about the festival by covering all facets of it. Gift marketers and card companies launch a rigorous campaign to lure the youngsters. Card and gift shops are interestingly decorated with symbols of Valentine's Day including roses, cupid and heart shaped balloons. Shopping malls in metropolitan cities organize fun-filled competitions and distribute discount coupons to lure the consumers.