Valentine's Traditions Around the World

heart in snow

Photo by heartprint4u

Here in the United States, candy and flowers (and Hallmark) dominate Valentine's Day but in other parts of the world, people celebrate L-O-V-E in other ways.

  • On Malaysia's day of love, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, women write their phone numbers on oranges before throwing them into the closest river with hopes that the man of their dreams might pick one up. Fruit vendors often collect the oranges, which are considered a lucky fruit, and resell them at the market—phone numbers and all! Can't you see a romantic comedy flick starting with a guy finding a "call me" orange in his bag of groceries?
  • Brazilians celebrate the day of love, called Dia dos Namorados ("Day of Lovers") on June 12. On the eve before the holiday, women write the names of various crushes on folded-up pieces of paper (which reminds us of the game M-A-S-H). Whichever name they pick from the pile on the following day will be the one they marry, or at least choose to go for. Other South American countries practice the Dia del amor y la amistad ("Love and Friendship Day"), where people are randomly assigned a partner to whom they give a secret gift (which reminds us of Secret Santa).
  • France had a curious (now banned) custom called "une loterie de amour," where single men and women gathered in houses facing each other. After yelling out to each other, they would pair off, but if the man ended up not liking his Valentine after all, he could desert her in the middle of the day. At night, the deserted women would make a bonfire together to burn pictures of and curse the men who had scorned them. Eventually, the French government shut down the practice for its maliciousness.

See how other cultures celebrate their version of Valentine's Day on Yahoo! Shine's website.

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