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How do they celebrate Valentine’s Day around the world?


While Valentine’s Day is celebrated with cards, candy and flowers in North America, other places around the world put their own spin on the holiday.

They may celebrate a little differently now to make sure they social distance, but people still find ways to show their love during this holiday.

Finland and Estonia

box of chocolates

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

In Finland and Estonia (both countries in Northern Europe), February 14th is less about romance and more about friendship.

In fact, these countries celebrate Friend’s Day rather than Valentine’s Day. During this holiday, people exchange cards and small gifts with their friends.


Valentine's Day wooden spoon

Photo Public Domain by Jose-Manuel Benito

The country of Wales, which is part of Great Britain, has its own version of Valentine’s Day.

On January 25th, the Welsh people celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day. For centuries, men gave women a "love spoon" as a token of their affection.

These wooden spoons were carved by the men and had elaborate designs on the handle. Today, love spoons remain a popular gift on St. Dwynwen’s Day and are even available in chocolate.

South Korea


Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

In South Korea, they don't just celebrate one Valentine's Day, they celebrate Valentine's Day 13 times a year!

Every month on the 14th, there is some sort of special holiday. In May, it's Rose Day, in August it's Green Day where couples go on a date in the countryside and in September it's Confession Day where young South Koreans confess their love to one another.


Valentine's Day chocolates

Photo by Malia licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In Japan, it’s a Valentine’s Day tradition for women to give gifts of chocolate to their male friends. That kindness is returned on March 14th, a holiday known as White Day.

That’s when men present small gifts to the women who gave them chocolate a month earlier.


hundreds of couples come together for a mass wedding on Valentine's Day

Jay DIrecto/Getty Images

Valentine's Day in the Philippines is a time for wedding celebrations! Traditionally, hundreds of couples would come together in mass weddings.

Some of the weddings would have themes, like being out in nature. And some weddings would try to break the record for most people kissing at once.


Two little birds falling in love on Valentine's Day

Photo by Vida Dimovska licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Valentine’s Day in the European country of Slovenia is for the birds. Slovenians also celebrate a day more like Canadian Valentine’s Day but on March 12th.

Tradition says that birds propose to each other and marry on this day.

It’s suggested that those who are looking for love walk barefoot through the frozen fields, so they can watch the birds wed.


young girls dress in silver headdresses and local costume on Valentine's Day

China Daily via Reuters

For the Miao ethnic people of China, the Sisters' Meal Festival is a celebration of love and spring. Miao girls collect flowers and dye rice to represent the seasons. It is known as "sister's rice."

They dress up in silver crowns, headdresses and neckrings. The young men sing to the girls they would like to marry.

After the big celebration, the young women wrap up the rice and give it to the men as gifts. Each of the packages has a symbol inside, and one of them means that the girl wants to get married!