Valentine's Day is celebrated across the globe. Come Valentine's Day, candy, flowers and other gifts are exchanged between sweethearts in one of the many traditions associated with the holiday.
The origins of Valentine's Day are largely unknown. Some suggest Valentine's Day was initially a way to honor St. Valentine on the anniversary of his death. Others believe it was the Christian church's way of Christianizing the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
Regardless of its origins, Valentine's Day is now celebrated by millions and is one of the retail industry's most lucrative shopping holidays.
In South Korea, women bestow gifts of chocolate on men. A month later men reciprocate with gifts for women on White Day.
Denmark and Norway, didn't really celebrate Valentine's Day until recently. Men write funny poems or rhyming love notes called Gaekkebrev and send them to women anonymously. Women must try to guess their admirers by counting dots that are put on the note that correspond to the number of letters in the man's name.
In Estonia, Valentine's Day is a day more devoted to friendship than romantic love. It is called "Sõbrapäev" in Estonian, which translates to "Friend's Day." Cards and gifts are exchanged among friends.
In Wales, the Welsh commemorate St. Dwynwen's Day, who is their patron saint of lovers, on January 25th. It is customary to gift love-spoons, presenting them to women they were interested in courting or marrying.
One different Valentine's tradition in Italy is locking padlocks to various structures, which is called "Lucchetti dell'Amore (locks of love)." Couples attach the locks to bridges, railings and lamp posts, inscribe their names on them and throw away the key.
There you have it, love is celebrated all around the world. No matter where you come from, the need for connection is great. Much of it with the intention and desire these connections will last life long. Take the time this year and invest thought in how you share your time with the one you love, whether friend or that special someone. Happy Valentines Day!
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