For many Valentine’s Day means red roses, lovey-dovey cards and spending time with your loved one.
However many countries have their own take on how to celebrate V-Day including love buses, black noodles and offering up Easter eggs should you guess who your secret admirer is?
We list the most quirky Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.
Photo: Claudio AR/Flickr
If Valentine’s Day means no red rose, romantic candle-lit dinners or long walks along the beach this year, then Estonia is the place to be. Referred to as ‘Friends Day’ over Valentine’s Day making sure not to discriminate against those without that special someone. The Estonian’s also put in every effort to help play cupid with the ‘love bus’ being a standing tradition for singles to ride around the city, and hopefully meet the love of their life. Travel to Estonia with Busabout on the 8-day Scandi-Baltic Adventure, for more information visit busabout.com
If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you might want to go to South Korea in April to join those too who are unlucky in love! Koreans have taken Valentine’s Day, also known as White Day, one step further to include ‘Black Day’ a month later for those that didn’t receive a gift in return. On the 14th April, singles are supposed to go to a Korean restaurant and eat black noodles and lament their lack of love.
Photo: Olds College/Flickr
The Welsh dare to be different when it comes to celebrating their love and affection. Not only is the loved-up day celebrated on the 25th January, it’s the customary gift by men that also get people talking with men gifting their adored interest with a love-spoon. Add some welsh tradition to your Valentine’s Day with Trafalgar and meet your own prince charming when visiting ancient castles and dining with locals at a unique Be My Guest experience at a Victorian Gothic Revival mansion overlooking the ruins of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey on The Britannia guided holiday.
Photo: Dimity B/Flickr
Denmark’s men put their calligraphy to the test with a tradition of sending “gaekkebrev” (funny letters) to women on Valentine’s Day with anonymous romantic messages. At the end of the letter they right a riddle and a point for each letter of their name, if the woman is successful in guessing their admirer they’ll be rewarded with an Easter egg in April. Experience the quirky side of Denmark with Trafalgar and stay in Authentic Accommodation at Hotel Randers – one of the oldest hotels located in the city of Randers.
Photo: Spreng Ben/Flickr
Traditionally on Valentine’s Day women are flooded with love and gifts from their special someone to show how special they are however in Japan it is the males that get special attention from their other-halves with a certain type of chocolate. Honmei-choko is presented to boyfriends, lovers and husbands to represent the nature of the relationship with each sweet hand made by the women presenting the gift. Visit Japan on Contiki’s new 13-day Japan Unrivalled itinerary, for more details visit contiki.com.
With roses the go-to flower for Valentine’s Day it is no wonder that millions of red roses are delivered on the 14th February around the world however in China it’s not just about the flower but the number that are sent that is important. With a single rose meaning ‘you are my only love’, 11 roses meaning ‘you are my favourite’ and 99 roses a declaration of everlasting love, it is the 108 roses that ladies are wanting converting to ‘will you marry me?’. Fall in love with China on a luxurious Uniworld boutique river cruise/journey, for more information visit uniworldcruises.com.au.
Brazil’s Valentine’s Day, Dia dos Namaorados, or Day of the Enamoured, does not come until 12 June. One tradition practiced by young women is to write the names of their crushes (all of them) down on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a hat (or any container). On the 12th, they pick a piece of paper at random. The name they choose supposedly determines who they should marry. Get your heart pumping on Adventure World’s 11-day Rhythms of Brazil. For more information visit adventureworld.com.au.
Photo: Sylvain Racicot/Flickr
If France is the world’s most romantic country, the village of St Valetine would take the title of the country’s capital of love. Named after the famous saint, the town has become known as the ‘Village of Love’ for its celebration of love around February 14th. The town is decorated with fresh flowers and romantic couples can get married in the park gazebo, add love notes on the Tree of Vows or commemorate their love on the Tree of Eternal Hearts. For more information on Creative Holidays’ range of travel packages to France call 1300 747 400.
Photo: Dallas Ransom/Flickr
If you grew up in country Australia there’s a good chance that you attended a B&S Ball – whether you choose to admit it is another thing. The Bachelors & Spinsters Ball, a cousin to the Desperate & Dateless Ball, was once a civilised matchmaking event designed for people to meet potential husbands and wives though these days they’re more synonymous with VB, food dye and singlets. You could head to a B&S Ball this Valentine’s Day – or rather than a dusty ute, you could see the Aussie outback from a comfortable coach with AAT Kings, for more information visit aatkings.com.
In Finland, Valentine’s Day is known as Friend’s Day and celebrates friendships rather than lovers. Instead of romantic gestures to your other-half (real or hopeful), people send cards and gifts to their friends instead. The Finnish translation of ‘Friend’s Day’ is Ystävänpäivä which you can learn to pronounce properly while discovering Helsinki and the Finish countryside and Arctic region with Insight Vacations, for more information visit insightvacations.com.
Photos: Creative Commons/Flickr