Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away – and we love an excuse to get romantic here at Crimbotrees so this month we’re looking at Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.
Romance Around the World
While February 14 marks traditionally marks a day of chocolate, flowers, greeting cards, and romantic dinners here, other parts of the world have their own unique ways to celebrate St. Valentine. Some exchange wooden spoons and pressed flowers, while others decide that getting married is a very public affair.
- Denmark didn’t embrace the celebration of St Valentine’s Day until the 1990s but they’ve since made it their own. Instead of red roses, they choose to celebrate lovers’ day with the exchange of pressed white snowdrops and exchange of “lovers’ cards”. Men give women gaekkebrev, a ‘joking letter’ consisting of a funny poem or rhyme signed with anonymous dots. If the lucky recipient correctly guesses the sender, she is rewarded with an Easter egg later in the year.
The Lottery of Love
- A country synonymous with love, France had a rather more eye-raising way of celebrating the most romantic day of the year. The loterie d’amour, or “lottery of love” would see men and women filling houses that faced one another, and then take turns calling out to each other before pairing off. Men who weren’t satisfied with their match could simply leave a woman for another, and the women left unmatched gathered afterward for a bonfire. During the bonfire, women burned pictures of the men who wronged them and hurled swears and insults at the opposite sex. You can see how this would get out of hand, and the authorities stepped in to outlaw this spirited celebration.
Stirring up Love in Wales
- We like the Welsh Valentine’s tradition of carving love spoons. In the17th century, Welsh men carved intricate wooden spoons as a token of affection for the women they loved. Patterns and symbols were carved into these love spoons, each signifying a different meaning. A few examples include horseshoes, which stand for good luck; wheels, which symbolise support; and keys, which symbolise the keys to a man’s heart. Awww.
Nice Day for a Public Wedding
- Should you get married on Valentine’s Day? The answer seems to be yes – it’s certainly popular in the Philippines, where the Valentine’s Day wedding tradition has swept the country and led to thousands of couples sharing a wedding day on February 14th. Hundreds of couples even gather at malls or other public areas around the country to get married or renew their vows en masse.
Closer to home, our very own wedding capital Gretna Green marries upwards of 50 couples within its historic and romantic boundaries on February 14th alone each year. And they’re not all runaways! Have a happy Valentine’s Day however you intend to celebrate.