Valentine’s Day around the world

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At last, love is in the air! While February 14th is a wondrous day to look forward to, for some, it is a day to dread. Regardless, Valentine’s Day is ultimately a great time to show extra appreciation to those we care about and embrace the cheesy and cliché atmosphere. 

Denmark

The Danes love gifting white flowers called snowdrops for both lovers and friends. They also enjoy writing gaekkebrev, a love letter or poem with a special twist: the sender signs them with dots instead of their name. The recipient is tasked to guess who sent the gaekkebrev, and if guessed correctly, they are owed an Easter egg for when Easter comes around. 

Japan

In the land of the cherry blossoms, Valentine’s Day is extremely popular among students. Near the holiday, shops fill their shelves with chocolate and supplies that enable girls to make their own. Most girls prefer gifting homemade chocolates because they are viewed as more personal, no matter how simple they look. Girls would sometimes give out two types of chocolates, “giri-choco,” which is meant for friends and family, or “honmei-choco,” to their romantic interests. Japan also observes White Day on March 14, where boys return the sentiment with gifts if they were interested in the girl that gave them chocolate. 

Philippines

On Valentine’s Day, the Filipino government sponsors an event where couples can get married. These weddings have hundreds of couples who gather in public areas to participate since it was most popular among those who cannot afford weddings. The government uses these weddings as a way to help families fill out documents that require a marriage certificate. Aside from signing up for the event with personal documents, couples only need to attend the wedding in their formal outfits. People can also renew their vows during these ceremonies. 

Italy

Lovely dinners and gift exchanges are popular for Italians during this time of romance, among them being small chocolate-covered hazelnuts called Baci Perugina.These chocolates come packaged with a romantic quote in four different languages, typically English, French, Spanish, Greek, German, Portugese, or Italian. Couples in Italy can also be seen visiting gardens, participating in poetry readings, and listening to music.

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