When is Valentines Day
Valentine’s Day in North America falls on February 14th and while both Canadian and Americans may be obsessed with romantic thoughts there are certainly not the only ones. However depending on where you live you may have to wait for a different day to see cupid in the air.
In Wales, the day of love is January 25 and called St. Dwynwen’s Day, a day that is celebrated by lovers. In Finland and Estonia, February 14 is celebrated as Friends Day, a day for honoring friends and loved ones. In the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Norway, Valentine’s Day is called Valentinsdag and is mostly celebrated through lovers exchanging cards or going out to a romantic dinner. In the Latin American countries of Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Guatemala, February 14 is a Day of Love and Affection, and is therefore celebrated by friends, family, and lovers.
In much of South America, Valentine’s Day has become a holiday called Amigo Secreto, where secret presents are exchanged or given, much like a Secret Santa kind of gift giving ritual. Thanks to extensive marketing efforts, much of Asia celebrates Valentine’s Day in a very similar way as that of the Western world. In Israel, the ancient Jewish love holiday of Tu B’Av has become a contemporary Valentine’s Day, and is also a popular day for wedding proposals and romantic dinners.
Valentine’s Day Chocolate in Japan
In South Korea and Japan, women give chocolate to men on Valentine’s Day, and men give romantic presents to women a month later on March 14. The common Western practice of sending Valentines of flowers is not practiced in Japan, where the holiday is very chocolate-centered. Many women, or office ladies, also have a social obligation to give chocolate to all of their male co-workers. When the men reciprocate the gift giving on March 14, they are obliged to send two to three times the amount of chocolate they received. If a man sends the same amount of chocolate that he received, it is actually a message that he wants to cut off the relationship.