Valentine’s Day in Other Countries


Skylynn McDowell, Reporter

February 14 is a day loved by some and hated by others. In fact, there has been a significant drop in the amount of people planning to celebrate in 2020. Despite the smaller numbers, the United States is still projected to spend around $22 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. Just like many other holidays, Americans have commercialized Valentine’s Day. Have all countries done the same thing? Here are some of the ways that other people celebrate:

Mexico celebrates Valentine’s Day on the same day that we do. In Spanish, it is called “El Día de Amor y Amistad” (sometimes with slight variations), which literally translated means “The Day of Love and Friendship”. In Mexico, all of their focus is not only on their romantic partners, as friendship is also commonly celebrated on this day. Many in Mexico take time to value their friends and family on el Día de Amor y Amistad. Valentine’s Day in Mexico is very similar to how we celebrate in the United States. Mexico has also commercialized the holiday, and you can find balloon and flower vendors all throughout the streets.

Unlike Mexico, Valentine’s Day celebrations in Italy are only directed towards those who are in a romantic relationship. In Italy, they call Valentine’s Day “La Festa Degli Innamorati”, which translated in English means “The Feast of Lovers”. People in Italy will exchange gifts and often go out to dinner like the United States and Mexico, but they have different traditions and celebrations. In Verona, there is a celebration of La Festa Degli Innamorati that lasts four days. People in Italy will also fasten a lock around things such as bridges or lampposts and throw away the key to symbolize love that lasts forever. This tradition started in around 2007 after the concept came up in a book.

In China, they celebrate Valentine’s Day quite differently than we do. In China, it is actually known as the Double Seventh Festival or the Qixi Festival. It is celebrated in the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar on the seventh day. This means that the Qixi Festival does not fall on February 14. In China, they often give gifts to their loved ones, go out to dinner, and watch movies together. Though people in China have adopted western Valentine’s Day, many still celebrate the Double Seventh Festival. The origin story is still told throughout the country. If you would like to learn about the legend of how the Qixi Festival started, I suggest looking at this link from under “The Legend of the Cowherd and the Weaver Fairy”:

February 14 in Chile is often very festive. People love to decorate for Valentine’s Day with lots of fun colors. Many in Chile like to give gifts to their loved ones, but they also take preparing meals very seriously. One example of a dish commonly made for Valentine’s Day is called cazuela. Cazuela is a mixture of meat and vegetables cooked in a type of stock. It is not a seasonal dish, though many choose to make this meal to celebrate the holiday. There are also many types of deserts commonly eaten for Valentine’s Day. Finally, they hold kissing competitions in Chile as part of their Valentine’s Day festivities.

People in Japan celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, and do many of the same things that we do. However, people take chocolate giving to another level. There are different kinds of chocolates to give to people depending on how you feel about them. There are specific chocolates that you can give to family, friends, coworkers, etc., and specific chocolates that you can give to romantic partners. Homemade chocolates are seen as the ultimate gesture in order to show that you really care about the person. There are at least five different kinds of chocolates that people give on Valentine’s Day. In most cases, only females are allowed to give gifts to their romantic partner on Valentine’s Day. This is because on March 14, exactly one month later, the men are supposed to return the favor by giving gifts to the women. Some go by the rule that they must give three times the amount that they were given, though that is not always the case. This is known as White Day.

If you would like to learn more about unique Valentine’s Day celebrations, feel free to look at these links: