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Celebrating Valentine’s Day Around the World

By:MONICA MIKHAIL
           With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we begin to see stuffed animals, red roses and hundreds of boxes of chocolate everywhere around us. Did you ever wonder if this is the same way all other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day? What are the different traditions around the world? Or do even all countries celebrate Valentine’s Day?

            Not all countries celebrate in the same way which is sometimes hard to imagine not getting a cute teddy bear from a loved one but believe or not, there are more than 10 countries that have their own traditions when comes to Valentine’s Day…. Here is a list of interesting traditions from across the globe
In Japan, people switch up traditional gender roles during Valentine’s Day meaning that women
are expected to give chocolate to men. Not only that but there are actually three types of chocolate:
            “Obligation chocolate” in which women have to give it to men with no romantic interest  
             (Ex: boss)
           “Ultra-obligation” in which women have to give it to someone just for the fun of exchanging gifts
             (Ex: co worker)
           “Favorite feeling” in which women give it to her husband or boyfriend
In England, an old tradition single women used to do on Valentine’s Day was pinning five bay
leaves to the sides of her pillow and one in the middle in order to dream about her future husband. And they also have to say “Good Valentine, be kind to me. In dreams, let me my true love see.”
**Another part in England called Norfolk; they actually have “Santa Clause” for Valentine’s Day
but instead they call him “Jack Valentine”. As a result, in Valentine’s eve, Jack Valentine knock
on people’s’ houses and leave treats and candies for little kids.
In Brazil, they have the same traditions as the United States but you also can exchange gifts with your friend, relatives and colleagues. On the other hand, it is celebrated on June 12th not February.Also Egypt shares the same traditions as the United States but celebrates Valentine’s Day on
November 4th.
In Philippines, people not only celebrate Valentine’s Day but thousands of people tend to get married on this day or renew their vows. They also don’t care where to get married because
most of them get married at malls or public places.
In South Africa, young women have to pin the name of their husband or boyfriend on their sleeves for the whole day.
In China, instead of exchanging chocolate to each other, young women exchange melons and some other fruits in order to find the right husband. But if they already found their other half, then they pray together asking for more happiness and love in their lives together.
In France, they used to have a somewhat of “speed dating” for women and men who are single. But men who were unsatisfied with a woman were able to just leave her and look for another one. Eventually at the end of the day, all women who didn’t have a match would go to a bonfire and burn pictures of men who refused to go out with them. ( It’s been banned)
In Denmark, instead of exchanging red flowers and roses, people exchange white flowers called “snowdrops.” Another tradition Denmark has is men sending funny poems and letters to women without signing their names and the women have to guess the sender. If they guessed the sender right, they get a present in Easter
In Slovenia, it is believed that this the day in which plants start to grow because St.Valentine brings keys to all the roots. As a result, most people have to work on Valentine’s Day.
In South Korea, people who didn’t receive anything in Valentine’s Day go to different restaurants to eat black noodles to mourn for their single life.
In Finland, people celebrate friendship instead of love and it is called “Friend’s Day.”
Not only are there different traditions of celebrating Valentine’s Day but also there are some countries that don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day such as: Malaysia, Iran, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Florida.  In 2013, the principle of Nona High School banned public celebrations of
Valentine’s Day and anyone who would bring flowers or teddy bears have to go to the principals office.     
So the next time you celebrate Valentine’s Day, keep in mind what other people from different countries are doing.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

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