The language of love certainly has a global appeal so it is no wonder the concept of Valentine’s Day has spread far and wide.
But it’s not all chocolate and roses – and it’s not just the domain of couples either, some parts of the world have a different take on Valentine’s Day traditions.
In England the day traditionally saw men give gifts of flowers and chocolates to women – although both sides of a couple exchange gifts of all shapes and sizes nowadays.
Japan views the custom in quite the opposite way with women giving chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day – and it is not just for loved ones. Women buy ‘obligation chocolates’ for all the men in their office as well as investing in, or making, chocolates for their romantic interest.
The gift of friendship
Many countries in Central and South America mark February 14th by celebrating Día del Amor y la Amistad – Day of Love and Friendship, where they carry out acts of kindness for friends and loved one. Also popular is Amigo Secreto – Secret Friend – which acts as a sort of secret Santa where friends give out secret gifts.
In Finland it is again a chance to recognise friendship while other parts of Scandinavia have not really taken the concept of buying Valentine’s Day gifts to heart – apart from in Sweden where February is known as All Heart’s Day.
Valentine’s Day gifts
Many other countries around the world, including France, Spain and the United States of America, celebrate Valentine’s Day the same way as the UK, bestowing gifts, flowers and chocolates upon loved ones.
Whether you want to tell a friend, husband, wife or partner that you love them – buying a personalised Valentine’s Day gift is sure to fill their February 14th with sparkle.