An expat’s guide to Valentine’s Day
February 12, 2016
Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world?
Living an expat lifestyle is a great opportunity to experience new cultures – and while you probably won’t want to adopt all of the traditions featured below, you might just find some inspiration …
Gift giving isn’t limited to couples in Brazil. People celebrate this day of love by exchanging gifts and having dinner with friends and family, too.
The equivalent of Valentine’s Day in China is Qixi, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. During Qixi, young women prepare offerings of melon and other fruits to Zhinu in the hope of finding a good husband. Couples also visit temples to pray for happiness and prosperity.
In Norfolk, children anxiously wait to hear Jack Valentine (a Santa of sorts) knock at their doors and leave small gifts of candy.
It’s been said the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London (1415). Today, Valentine’s Day cards remain a popular tradition around the world.
Valentine’s Day celebrations in the Philippines are similar to Western countries. But one tradition has swept the country, leading to thousands of couples sharing a wedding day!
South Africa celebrates with festivals, flowers and other tokens of love. Women pin the names of their love interests on their sleeves – an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia.
For more Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world, visit the Huffpost Travel blog.