Remember handing out those paper Valentines in grade school? Giving them to classmates, teachers or even the bus driver brings a smile to their faces and gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling. Charles, the Duke of Orleans gets credit for sending the first Valentine in 1415. While imprisoned in the Tower of London, his love letter makes its way back to his wife in France. It is what February 14 is all about; letting a person know you care with a simple gesture.
People all over the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in unique ways. We have found a few that might give you ideas on how to shake up your Valentine routine!
Valentine’s Day, Italian Style
The first Italian Valentine’s celebration is called Spring Festival. Couples dine outdoors, recite poetry and listen to music. The romantic encounters end with a moonlit stroll. Even though the Spring Festival is gone, modern Italians still celebrate February 14 in much the same way, with amore.
In England, Just Sleep on It
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, an old English tradition has single women place five bay leaves on their pillow before going to sleep. It is supposed to entice them to dream of their future husbands. Today, the bay leaf is left in the kitchen. Modern British men and women exchange cards, candy and kisses, just like Americans do.
Rather than celebrating for one day, South Koreans exchange gifts for three months. On February 14, women pursue men, leaving tokens of their affection. Korean men get their turn to shower ladies with gifts on March 14. Finally, for the single members of the population, April 14 is a day to mourn their solitary status and pray for a change (chocolate is probably popular on that day).
In Brazil, Carnival First, Valentine’s Second
Brazilians choose to postpone their Valentine’s celebration until after Carnival, which happens in February or March each year. They hold Dia dos Namorados or Lovers Day on June 12. It is customary to present gifts to friends and family as well as lovers. The next day, June 13, is Saint Anthony’s Day (the patron saint of marriage), when unmarried women invoke his blessing with the hope of finding a husband.
From Denmark to the Philippines, Love is in the Air
Danish men give women a gaekkebrev or joking letter. These anonymous notes, written on intricately cut paper (think snowflakes, hearts), contain funny poems or silly inscriptions. Danish women must guess who their secret admirer is. Half the globe away in the Philippines, it is easy to remember most couples’ anniversaries, because it is good luck to get married on February 14. Across the country, they hold large mass weddings.
All you need is love! From heart-shaped acrylic paperweights and crystal pictures frames to elegant glass suncatchers with love poems and other gift ideas that can set your sweetheart’s love ablaze, there’s still time to design a beautifully personalized, fully custom engraved or color printed Valentine at PlaqueMaker. Once you submit your order, a quote and proof are emailed to you within one business day. Your order will ship from our warehouse two days after you approve your final design. We offer free shipping for orders over $99 within the contiguous United States and to APO/FPO addresses and upgraded shipping options are available. Every order includes one free logo, photo or clip art with no set-up fees and no character limit, and PlaqueMaker’s easy-to-use online design tools let you fashion a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s gift they are sure to love.