Who Celebrates Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day in the United Kingdom is an annual event on 14th February. However, cupid’s arrow does not just strike in the U.K! Who celebrates Valentine’s Day? Do traditions vary from country to country? What will you be doing this Valentine’s Day?
Which Countries Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day?
Any country where Christianity is a major religion celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day. However, some countries apply greater significance to the February 14th date than others.
Indeed, most countries around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in some shape or form. From Latin America to South Africa, and Asia to Europe. The U.S.A, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all mark the day of romance too. So many people in the mood for love!
However, this is not the case everywhere. Some countries have banned celebrating Valentine’s day altogether! Why, you may ask? For many, for good reason. As stated earlier, Valentine’s Day is a Christian celebration, so some Muslim countries have taken the step to ban the festivities to prevent cultural clashes. These countries include Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Saudi Arabia’s culture makes it taboo to show signs of affection in public. Valentine’s day, therefore, goes against the ideologies of this country. Russia, celebrates women, rather than a saint, on March 8th, International Women’s Day. More details about each of these are outlined in this article by Wedded Wonderland. 7 Countries That Refuse To Celebrate Valentine’s Day – Wedded Wonderland
How Do Celebrations Vary?
For those countries that do mark St. Valentine’s day, celebrations can vary significantly. Here, in the U.K., exchanging cards and gifts and going out for a romantic meal are commonplace. Many other countries like U.S.A, Spain, France, and Australia, celebrate in a similar fashion. However, there are some places across the globe that have some fascinating differences.
In Japan, the celebrations are split between two dates. On 14th February, ladies in Japan give gifts of chocolate to their loved ones. One month later, on 14th March it is White Day, and the turn of the gentlemen. This is similar in South Korea, though the men are encouraged to give non-chocolate sweets. In fact, the 14th of every month seems to be significant to South Korea. The exception is April 14th, ‘Black Day’. On this date, singletons go to restaurants to celebrate being alone and eat black noodles!
In Germany, as in Britain, red roses are a significant gift between lovers. In addition to this, children join the celebrations. They buy presents for their parents, teachers, and classmates! Similarly, in Finland and Estonia, the celebrations are focussed more on friendships. Gift giving is between friends rather than partners.
South African ladies traditionally wear their hearts on their sleeves! Women pin the name of the person they love onto their shirt sleeves. Here, this is often how gentlemen find they have a secret admirer! St. Valentine’s Day is very significant in the Philippines, especially for weddings. The number of couples choosing to tie the knot on this special day can be vast. It is not uncommon for local wedding ceremonies take place en-masse. In the past these have taken place at shopping malls and village squares!
Saint Valentine is the patron saint for many living in Lebanon. Couples exchange gifts of cupcakes, chocolate, and red roses, to celebrate the feast day. Traditions also vary between cities. In Beirut, the men take their partners out for a meal. In Sidon, the day is more focussed on the love of a family, rather than that of couples. Finally, Singaporeans are among the most extravagant gift givers for Valentine’s Day. 60% of lovers in Singapore admit to spending between $100 and $500 for the event!
The Cost Of Celebrations
Whilst spend per head in Singapore might seem impressive, it is America that invests the most on February 14th. It is believed that over $27 billion will be spent in 2021. Men spend an average of $339 and women significantly less at $64, according to Bankrate. The U.K., by comparison, tallies up to approximately $1 billion. Millennials are the biggest spenders, with an average spend of £42 for their Valentine.
So, what do they spend their money on? Flowers, jewellery, Champagne, sweets, and chocolates are all popular choices. Some splash out on romantic trips. Many buy clothing and beauty treatments, others, entertainment. However, there is also a growing trend to buy Valentine’s gifts for pets too! In 2019 Americans spent $886 million on their furry companions!
If you are looking for unique, you can’t go wrong with personalised gifts, like featuring in your own romantic novel! More unusual choices could include a two person jumper! If money is no object take a leaf from the Beckham’s book. David gifted Victoria an $8 million dollar Bulgari diamond necklace! Or maybe you could be environmental and buy a tree for your loved one?
Whether you mark Valentine’s day this year or not, at Sweet and Nostalgic we hope you have found our blog informative! If you need inspiration for gifts, please, visit our online shop, there is something for everyone! We are delighted to be listed in Feedspot’s top list of Gift Websites and Blogs.