Valentine's Day in Other Nations

Joanna Akinlosotu, Copy Editor

How Various Countries Celebrate this Day of Love
Whether it is called San Valentin, Dia dos Namorados, or Valentinsdag, Valentine’s Day is still celebrated worldwide in several cultures. This day is observed in Africa, Asia, Europe, as well as in Latin America.
South Korea
A large amount of money is spent each year in celebration of Valentines Day in East Asia. Some of the most involved countries include South Korea and China. South Korea is striking for its unique and intense celebration of love. The 14th of each month correlates with a day based upon love. In order of January to December, they are: Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day. The days most heavily observed are Valentine’s, White, and Black Day. On Valentine’s Day, women give chocolate to the men they are interested in. On White Day (March 14th), the opposite occurs; the men give non-chocolate sweets to the women. On Black Day (April 14h), those who received nothing on both Valentine’s and White Day go out to eat a traditional dish, black noodles, and wallow in their singleness.
The Chinese version of Valentine’s day is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. It is known as the Night of Sevens. Couples visit the Temple of Matchmaker where they pray for love, marriage, children, etc. Single women and men (mostly women) pray for a partner. However, February 14th is still semi-observed, with the exchange of cards, candy, etc.
Traditionally, it was believed that the first man a women saw on Valentine’s day would become hers within a years time. Consequently, women woke up as early as possible in the hopes of spotting their “ideal” man. Additionally, a Spring Festival was held to celebrate.
Colloquially shortened to “Vals”, Valentine’s Day is a huge spectacle in the urban areas of Nigeria. Restaurants, stores, and even the streets are decked out in red, white, and pink heart-shaped signs and streamers. Gifts are also on another level. Flowers and chocolates are not seen as acceptable. Instead, the basic requirements are automobiles, cell phones, and cakes. Cakes are very popular gifts for boyfriends and girlfriends to give. Cellphones, especially Blackberrys and Nokias, are also extremely popular. Cars are the most elite gift to give on this day.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th. Additionally, Egyptian Love Day, Eid el-Hob el-Masri, is celebrated on November 4th. Gifts and flowers are bought and exchanged between lovers. Flowers are the most heavily purchased item.