Strange Valentine’s Day Belief

Saint Valentine’s Day, or simply known as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine is observed on February 14 each year in many countries excep for the Islamic religion, it remains a working day and observed as a “special day of love”. The beginning of the a lithurgical celebration in early Christian’s faith of Valentinus and began to observe St. Valentine’s Day.  The popular belief of Saint Valentine’s martyrology, that he was imprisoned for officiating the wedding feast for soldiers who were forbidden and not allowed to marry and for ministering the Christian’s faith. The heart-shaped symbol, doves and winged Cupid figure became the most popular Valentine’s symbol. The production of numerous greeting of written Valentine’s cards in the 19th century became famous.

Cupid

Cupid with his bow

Cupid with his bow

Cupid in Roman mythology or in Latin, Cupido, meaning desire or god of desire, erotic love and affection. Cupid is known as the son of Venus, the Roman goddess believed to be the goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, prosperity and victory, and his father which was rarely mentioned in ancient Roman sources. Eros was Cupid’s counterpart in Greek mythology. Cupid is also known in Latin as Amor meaning Love and have the ability to drive love and desire plays an urge role in many myths or  romantic scenarios. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is famous for shooting his bow , a Valentine’s Day icon, to inspire romantic love. In painting and sculpture, Cupid often portrayed in paintings or sculpture in nude or covered in diaper as boy with wings or commonly a baby putto carrying a bow and arrow.

Cupid’s Bow

Cupid Bow compared to human lip

Cupid Bow compared to human lip

The Cupid’s bow or tubercle curve resembles in a facial feature where the double curve of a human upper lip, the Roman god of erotic love. The bow peaks coincide with the philtral columns showing a prominent bow shape appearance to the lip.

Putto or Putti

Putto or Putti

Putto or Putti

A chubby baby commonly nude some with wings and some described with no wings, is called the putto (plural putti). Putto are distinct from cherubim, referring to biblical angels. While the “cherubs” symbolized the angel’s second order, the putti are secular and present a non-religious passion. However, in the period of artistic style or period of art called Baroque, the putto came to represent the property of being present everywhere or omnipresence or ubiquity of God. The putto represents a cupid is called sometimes an amorino or plural term is amorini. It is derived from Latin word putus which means boy or child in Italian word, but nowadays it is reffered to as a winged angel toddler or toddler boy.  In the early classical period of the world of art, the Putti, were winged infants that were believed to influence human lives. While during the Renaissance art, the putto form came from different form including the Roman Amor or Cupid, Greek Eros, Aphrodite the god of love and companion, Venus the Roman genius type of guardian spirit or sometimes the Greek Daemon, a type of messenger spirit which is the halfway between the divine and human realms.

Eros (Greek Cupid)

Eros or Cupid

Eros or Cupid

In the Greek mythology, Eros meaning Desire, was the Greek god of sexual passionate love. Eros counterpart was Cupid (desire) of the Roman mythology. Some myths created him as a god,  while in other myths, he is Aphrodite’s son. Eros was worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae, while in Athens Eros shared a very popular cult with Aphrodite, and the fourth day of every month was sacred to him.

Cupid and Psyche Love Story

Cupid and Psyche statue, Rome

Cupid and Psyche statue, Rome

The story between Eros (Cupid) and Psyche, is about their struggle for their ardent love, trust for each other. Aphrodite was jealous and insecure of Princess Psyche beauty of mortal, because all men were leaving Aphrodite’s altar, and instead worship the mortal princess, and so Aphrodite commanded Eros, her son, the god of love, to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest human on earth. However, Eros fell inlove instead, with Psyche and took her away to his home. But their peaceful life together, is ruined by a visit from Psyche’s jealous sisters, that causes Psyche to betray the trust of Eros, her husband. Eros was hurt and heartbroken, he left his wife, and Psyche wanders the Earth, looking for her lost love. And Psyche, approaches Aphrodite and asks for her help, and Aphrodite imposed various difficult tasks on Psyche. By means of supernatural power, Psyche was able to achieve and surpassed the tasks, and after the tasks was completed, Aphrodite become compassionate and made Psyche immortal to live alongside her husband Eros. Eros and Psyche, had a daughter they called Voluptas or Hedone, which means bliss or physical pleasure. Psyche was the divine of the human soul in Greek mythology, and played the role of goddess with butterfly wings in ancient mosaics, because Psyche in Ancient Greek word means butterfly, or soul, spirit, breath, animating force and life.

He-He er xian

He-he-er-xian

He-he-er-xian

He and He in Taoist temple Chang-Chun (Eternal Spring) in Wuhan

He and He in Taoist temple Chang-Chun (Eternal Spring) in Wuhan

He-He er xian are the two Taoist immortals better known as Hé and Hé, also known as the “Immortals of Harmony (和) and Union (合)” or “the two spirits of Harmony and Union”. The two Taoist immortals, He and He are popularly believed linked to a happy marriage, and represents as boys holding Lotus flower (荷, ) and a box (盒, ).

Love Styles

Flirtation

Flirtation

Love birds demonstrate love and affection

Love birds demonstrate love and affection

The six basic  Love styles, of how people love, also known as colors of love, where people use in their interpersonal relationships, includes, Eros (romantic and passionate love physically and emotionally), Ludus ( playing love as game with different partners or lovers), Storge (affectionate love that developed from friendship same with Philia), Pragma (undemonstrative love driven by the mind not by the heart), Mania (love that is very possessive, obsessive, highly emotional or low by jealousy) and Agape (unselfish, unconcern kind of love).

Greek Words for Love

Handfasting ceremony, binding two people in love

Handfasting ceremony, binding two people in love

Jesus preaching Love your enemies

Jesus preaching Love your enemies

During the Ancient Greek, in the Greek Language, there are few Greek words for love, marked how the word is used, and has four distinct words for love, same as the Ancient Roman Love styles, such as the Agape (referring to true love, not similar to Eros as sacrificial love, love for spouse, children and unconditional love for God), Eros love (passionate love wit sensual desire or intimate love but not sexual desire, also love in dating relationship leading to marriage) and Platonic Love ( love without physical attraction or non-sexual relationship, unlawful or innocent sexual love relationship). Philia ( affectionate or friendship love in modern Greek, loyalty to friends and family, non-emotional morally feelings, with happy relationship). Storge ( natural affection, as love of parents to children, or expressing love to a cruel or unjust individual).

Platonic Love

Plato and his students (platonic love)

Plato and his students (platonic love)

 Lupercalia Festival

Lupercalia

Lupercalia

The Ancient Roman pastoral festival known as the Lupercalia, usually observed on February 13 to 15 to cast away evil spirits and purify the entire city, and have health and fertility. Lupercalia considering Februa, an ancient origin of  spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February from its name Februarius. Lupercus is a god in Roman mythology, sometimes identified with the god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan, believed to be the god of the world, nature, mountain wild animals, flock of shepherds, hunting , unsophisticated music and nymphs’ companion.

Courtly love

 

Courtly Love

Courtly Love

The medieval European nobly conception and chivalrously love expression and admiration or know as Courtly love or domnei. Generally, courtly love was secret and between the nobility members, and not practiced between husband and wife.

England Paper Valentine

Valentine Greeting Card, 1887 by Whitney

Valentine Greeting Card, 1887 by Whitney

In the 19th century, the Paper Valentines became so popular in England that they were produced in factories, where fancy made with real lace and ribbons are used for the Fancy Valentine’s card. Since 1797, printers had begun producing some Valentine paper card which they named mechanical Valentines, which a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer wit sentimental verses for lovers who can not express their love.  Leigh Eric Schmidt, traced the reinvention in the 1840’s of Saint Valentine’s Day, and became a national holiday in England. Most of the UK population, spend money on their Valentines dates, and around 1.3 billion pounds are believed spent on Valentine cards, flowers, chocolates and expensive gifts annually.

Valentine's postcard in 1910

Valentine’s postcard in 1910

Esther Howland (1828-1904) produced the first mass production of valentine cards made of embossed paper lace and was sold after 1847, in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the United States. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father, which his father owned a large stationary and book store. Howland was intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, and began importing paper lace and floral decorations from UK.

Valentine Candies and Chocolates

Valentine's Candy

Valentine’s Candy

Box of Valentine Chocolates

Box of Valentine Chocolates

Valentines day flowers

Valentines day flowers

Valentine's Diamond

Valentine’s Diamond

In the 20th century, second half, the practice of exchanging Valentine’s greeting cards was extended to all manner of gifts such as giving of roses, chocolates packed in red satin or silk cloth heart shaped-box. Then in the early 1980’s the diamond production started to promote giving jewelry as Valentine’s gift.

Love Celebration in Europe

Norfolk, Jack Valentine knocks on doors

Norfolk, Jack Valentine knocks on doors

In Norfolk the traditional sending cards, gift giving are still followed, but a mysterious man or woman knocks at the front door of their house, leaving cnadies and gifts for children known as Jack Valentine, and in spite of the good treats, many children were scared of this Jack Valentine the mystical person.

Wales Valentine’s  Saint Dwynwen

Saint Dwynwen (image credit:www.historic-uk.com)

Saint Dwynwen (image credit:www.historic-uk.com)

St Dwynwens Churc ruins in Liandwyn

St Dwynwens Churc ruins in Liandwyn

  The Welsh patron saint of lovers is known as Saint Dwynwen, also known as Dwyn, Donwen, and Donwenna, and also known as patron saint of sick animals. The St Dwynwen’s Day is observed every January 25 in Wales and she is St Valentine’s equivalent. According to legend, St Dwynwen fell in love with Prince Maelon Dafodrill, but Dwynwen’s father set an arrange marriage for her for another man. She became upset knwoing she is marrying someone she do not know and love, and prayed to God, that she will forget Maelon. Dwynwen was visited by an angel, after she fell asleep, the angel was carrying a “potion” to erase all her memories about Maelon turning him into block of ice. Dwynwen was given three wishes by God, and her first wish was to melt Maelon from being an ice, second wish was give the hopes and dreams of true lovers by God, and third, that Dwynwen will remain single and never marry. And to fulfill her wish to never marry and left the Anglesey Island to build a church referred to as Llanddwynwen or Church of Dwynwen, she chooses to become a nun.

Wales Lovespoon on Valentine’s Day

Lovespoon in Wales

Lovespoon in Wales

A wooden spoon carved in traditional heart designs as a gift with romantic intent called Lovespoon is , and earliest date produced was in 1664 in Germany originally. The lovespoon is usually decorated with love and heart symbols, for practical use as decoration and became a treasured decorative item to be hung on a wall.

 St. Valentin’s Day in France

St. Valentine, St. Lucilla Jacopo Bassano baptismal

St. Valentine, St. Lucilla Jacopo Bassano baptismal

Saint Valentin day in France (image credit:www.saintvalentin.org)

Saint Valentin day in France (image credit:www.saintvalentin.org)

A festival celebrated the Saturday after St. Valentine’s Day in Roquemaure, France called the Festival of the Kiss or  La Fête du Baiser. Since 1989, this celebration commemorates not only Saint Valentine, but the arrival of St Valentine’s remains in 1868 to Roquemaure collegiate church reliquary. The festival celebrate revolving around a 19th century way of living with costumes and markets whic attracts more than 20,000 tourists. Saint Valentine’s relics was purchased in Rome, hoping that can cure the vine stocks or vineyard diseases of the town, and the ‘vineyard diseases’ were healed after four years. Roquemaure is home to a Cellar St. Valentine winery, today, that produces wines named after the saint. Father René Durieu, a local priest, started this La Fete du Baiser Festival, where men and women around the village dress as priests and nuns, kissing each other, as well as travelers. Special foods and wines are prepared for the festival.

St. Valentine Shrine in Carmelite Church, Dublin, Ireland

St. Valentine Shrine in Carmelite Church, Dublin, Ireland

St. Valentine reliquary in Dublin (image credit: saintbertbellarmine.blogs)

St. Valentine reliquary in Dublin (image credit: saintbertbellarmine.blogs)

Pope Gregory XVI’ precious gift, were St. Valentine’s remains and “a small vessel tinged with his blood. The St. Valentine’s Reliquary was placed in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, Ireland which can be visited and seen until this day.

Valentine’s Day in Spain (Saint George Day)

Catalonia's Saint George's Day

Catalonia’s Saint George’s Day stall of Rose

Catalonia St. Jordi's cake in Catalonia

Catalonia St. Jordi’s cake in Catalonia

Saint George Day or Rose Festival, at Plaza de Aragon,Zaragoza

Saint George Day or Rose Festival, at Plaza de Aragon,Zaragoza

San Valentin is the St. Valentine’s Day in Spain, and similar to UK celebration, however in Catalonia, Spain, it is celebrated by book giving or festival of roses given during the Saint George’s Day or called in Spain La Diada de Sant Jordi , also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book). While in Portugal the day of heart or Lover’s Day is called”Dia dos Namorados“.

Saint George Monastery or Deir Mar Georges, Syria's Valley of the Christians

Saint George Monastery or Deir Mar Georges, Syria’s Valley of the Christians

The Monastery of Saint George attracted Arabs all over Palestine and trade loaves of bread, make sacrifices and make a vow to fulfill and gather for picnics under the olive trees found around the monastery. The Al-Khader (Feast of Saint George) is a Palestinian holiday remembering Saint George also called as, Mar Jeries and Jirjis in Palestinian culture, observed annually on May 5,  in al-Khader Paletinian town, south of Bethlehem, and although originally, it is a local Christian holiday, by both Palestinian Christians and Muslims participation. Saint George’s Day is celebrated on April 23, the accepted date of death of Saint George’ in AD 303. For the Julian calendar used by the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the feast of Saint George is observed on April 23, as Easter often falls close to Saint George’s Day, but in Gregorian calendar, it will be May 6. The Feast of Saint George is solemnly observed in England and Catalonia, for 2011 and 2014, because the Anglican and Catholic calendars celebrate after Easter Week, on the first Monday, which falls on April 28 and May 2.

Denmark and Norway Valentine’s Day

Flower market in Detroit

Flower market in Detroit

Flower bouquet

Flower bouquet

In Denmark and Norway, Valentine’s Day is known as Valentinsdag, observed on February 14,  but it is not a big celebration, but is largely influenced by the American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their love ones or partners, sending Valentine’s card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag which means All Hearts’ Day and launched in the 1960s by the commercial interests of the flower industry, and due to the American culture influence. Although Valentinsdag is not an official holiday, but the celebration is recognized, thus, the sales of cosmetics, flowers and jewelry for this holiday are only exceeded by those for Mother’s Day.

Finland Valentine’s Day

Friendship

Friendship

In Finland Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä which means “Friend’s Day“, and this special day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones. Also in Estonia, the Valentine’s Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning, Day of Friends.

Slovenia Valentine’s Day

Spring colorful flowers

Spring colorful flowers

Spring season, blooming Sour Cherry

Spring season, blooming Sour Cherry

Vineyard

Vineyard

Beekeeper, keeping bees

Beekeeper, keeping bees

In Slovenia, the St. Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the Beekeeper’s patron saint and pilgrims, which a proverb says that “St Valentine brings the keys of roots“, then plants and flowers start to bloom and grow during this season. This feast of heart has been celebrated as the first day of vineyards work in the fields beginning. Some stories said, during this day, the birds propose to each other or get married on that day. Another proverb says, Valentine, the first spring saint or  Valentin, prvi spomladin, where in some places the White Carniola blooms, and so, Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring. And recently, the Valentine’s Day has been celebrated as the day of love, which is traditionally observed on March 12, as the Saint Gregory’s DaySaint Vincent’s Day on February 22,and Saint Anthony as the patron of love, celebrated on June 13.

Dragobete

snowdrop carpet at Bank Hall, Bretheton in February 2009

snowdrop carpet at Bank Hall, Bretheton in February 2009

Snowdrop plant

Snowdrop plant

Dragobete (Valentine’s Day in Romania)

Dragobete (image credit: www.plairomanesc.ro)

Dragobete (image credit: www.plairomanesc.ro)

Dragobete celebration (image credit:sobreleyendas.com)

Dragobete celebration (image credit:sobreleyendas.com)

The traditional lover’s holiday in Romania is known as Dragobete, celebrated on February 24, every year, the name was derived from Romanian folklore character, supposedly Baba Dochia’s son, which is pat of his name is the word drag meaning dear, also found in dragoste word meaning love. Romania has also begun to celebrate Valentine’s Day in recent years, despite having the traditional holiday of  Dragobete. The Noua Dreaptă organization, condemn Valentine’s Day being commercialize, not real and imported Western design using cultural icon. Dragobete is also known as “the day when the birds are engaged to be married”, and during this time the birds begin to build their nests and mate. Dragobete is also considered the first day of spring where local boys and girls gather flowers occurring in the spring and sing together. It was also believed, that the Maidens collect the snow that lies on the villages ground and melt it, using melted snow- water in magic potions throughout the rest of the year. Some believes that those who take part in Dragobete customs celebration, are protected from fever and other illnesses, for the rest of the year. If the weather is fair, the boys and girls pick snowdrops flowers or other early spring plants for the person they are courting. In some parts of Romania, it is a common belief that one step over his/her partner’s foot, during this celebration, and believed you will have the dominant role in your relationship. The feast of Dragobete customs, the beliefs and practice vary from region to region.

Bulgaria Strange Valentine’s Day Celebration

Stepping feet (image credit:prom.about.com)

Stepping feet (image credit:prom.about.com)

In Bulgaria, the neighboring country, they practice the custom of stepping the foot of their partners traditionally takes place during weddings, and with the same purpose, but some say, it is not believed to be connected to Dragobete.

Greece and Cyprus Strange Valentine’s Day

Perfume

Perfume

Rolex-Submariner watch (Valentine's gift)

Rolex-Submariner watch (Valentine’s gift)

In Greece and Cyprus, the Valentine’s Day is called Ημέρα του Αγίου Βαλεντίνου. There is another Saint who protect people who are in love, in the Orthodox Church belief, but the Greek’s Valentine’s Day is more popular and celebrated yearly. Men give presents  to women commonly bouquet of flowers, chocolate candies, soft toys, diamond and platinum chains as Valentine’s Day gifts. Perfumes are also one of the most Valentine’s day gift considered high class, because women like to smell fresh, while most women give their gifts like perfumes, Goggles, or bracelets for their boyfriends or husbands, on Greek Valentine’ day. Gift basket is a kind of gift which everybody loves, on a Valentine’s day. People in Greece, make homemade chocolate cookies put it in a gift basket with Valentine’s card or photo collage (artistic process in the visual arts). Some men prefer things which is useful than being so romantic, and prefer more on electronic gadgets, books, watches as gifts. The Greek men are not considered having materialistic attitude towards women because, Greek men get satisfaction even if their lover arranges a romantic dinner in a nearby restaurant or given a ticket for a movie. The Greek women, on the other hand, prefer to receive useful accessories such as watches, jackets bag, and designer shoes as a Valentine’s Day gift.

Tu B’Av, Jewish Strange Valentine’s Day

Tu B'Av Jewish Valentines day, girls dancing in white dress

Tu B’Av Jewish Valentines day, girls dancing in white dress

Jewish wedding

Jewish wedding

  The Jewish minor holiday celebrated every 15th of February, is called Tu B’Av . While in Israel modern-day, it is celebrated as a love holiday in Hebrew, it is known as Hag HaAhava, similar to Valentine’s Day, and considered a very desirable date for Jewish weddings. In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem was a joyous holiday known as Tu B’Av, which mark the beginning of harvesting grapes. While the Yom Kippur, marked the end of harvesting the grapes. The unmarried girls of Jerusalem, dressed in white clothes on both dates and went out to dance in the vineyards. The Tu B’Av marks an informal “high” to counter the “low” of the Three Weeks that leads up to Tisha B’Av (annual fasting day in Judaism). The Tachanum (Judaism morning services however, is not said, at mincha (afternoon prayer service in Judaism),the day before nor on the day itself, and a traditionally, bride and groom do not fast if their wedding that falls on Tu B’Av .In modern times it has become a Jewish Valentine’s Day and most celebrated day for marriage proposals, weddings, and romantic dates.

Latin America Valentine’s Day

Ceviche camaron for Dia de San Valentin

Ceviche camaron for Dia de San Valentin

Roses

Roses

Valentine’s Day is known as “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship) in some Latin American countries, like in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, as well as others. During this Valentine’s Day, it is common to see people perform “acts of appreciation” for their friends, sharing foods and gifts to their friends and love ones. Ceviche de Camaron is the traditional dish served during Dia del Amor y la Amistad.

Día del Carino or Affection Day

Affection and love

Affection and love

Also in Guatemala, it is known as the Affection Day or  “Día del Cariño“.

Brazil Strange Valentine’s Day

Saint Anthony

Saint Anthony

Brazilian Festival

Brazilian Festival

The Dia dos Namorados  or “Lovers’ Day“, or “Boyfriends’/Girlfriends’ Day” is celebrated on June 12 in Brazil, because it is the day before the Feast Day of Saint Anthony, popularly known as the marriage saint, many single women traditionally perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend, while the couples exchange gifts, chocolates, cards and flower bouquets. The usual Valentine’s Day on February 14, is not celebrated at all because it usually falls closer before or after the Brazilian Carnival that can fall anywhere from early February to early March and lasts almost a week. The celebrations of the Brazilian Carnivals, made Brazil a popular tourist destination during February for Western singles to get away from the holiday, because Valentine’s Day is not celebrated in Brazil and instead celebrate the famous carnival.

Colombia Valentine’s Gift from “Secret Friend”

Gift box from secret friend

Gift box from secret friend

In Colombia, strange Valentine’s Day is celebrated every third Saturday of September. The Colombians practice the Valentine’s day of assigning to each celebration participant a recipient who is to be given an anonymous gift  from a secret friend (similar to the Christmas Kris Kringle tradition of Secret Santa). In most of Latin America The Día del amor y la amistad and the Amigo secreto (“Secret friend“) are popular and commonly celebrated together on February 14 in which Colombia is exempted, they celebrate it on every 3rd Saturday of September.

 Valentine’s Day is celebrated in some East Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea and China spending the most money on Valentine’s gifts.

Valentine's Day in Singapore (image credit:www.visiting-singapore.com)

Valentine’s Day in Singapore (image credit:www.visiting-singapore.com)

Valentine and Chinese New Year gifts in Singapore (image credit: www.top-valentine-gifts.inf.

Valentine and Chinese New Year gifts in Singapore (image credit: www.top-valentine-gifts.inf.

Saint Valentine’s Day in Singapore is celebrated in numerous traditions . Similar to festivities of the Chinese New Year, single or unmarried women throw oranges in the Singapore River with a hope and wish to get a loving and caring future husband. The Singaporean believe that the Chinese New Year’s 15th day celebrations is the day to find a good life partner. Thus, all the major cities or areas in Singapore make dead end efforts to make this twofold love event more eventful and rejoicing. Exchanging love quotes, Valentine bouquet of flowers ,material gift  and romantic dinner date is the order of the day.

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

The popular Lantern Festival was a day for love and matchmaking, on which an unmarried girl or single ladies, was traditionally allowed to appear in public unescorted and be seen by eligible bachelors, and considered as one of the strange few nights in old times without a strict curfew. Sometimes it is considered as another Chinese Valentine’s Day, and most young people were chaperoned in the streets hoping to find love or the right partner. Matchmakers  are busy acting in hopes of pairing couples. The Lantern Festival in China,also called as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival, Chap Goh Meh Festival in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Yuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, in Vietnam it is known as Tết Thượng Nguyên or Tết Nguyên Tiêu , and Koshogatsu in Japan, is a festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the lunar calendar, year in the Chinese New Year’s celebration.

South Korea Valentine’s Day
Korean black bean noodle dish,Jaengban,Jajangmyeon

Korean black bean noodle dish,Jaengban,Jajangmyeon

Korean Garaetteok for Valentines Day

Korean Garaetteok for Valentines Day

Pepero Almond Sticks

Pepero Almond Sticks

Similar to Japan, the South Koreans celebrate strange Valentine’s Day or called White Day, where women give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on March 14, White Day, while the Black Day is celebrated on April 14, for those who did not receive anything on February 14 or March 14, they go to a Korean restaurant to eat Jajangmyeon, a black noodles (자장면) and “mourn” their being single in life. On November 11, Koreans also celebrate Pepero Day, where young couples give each other Pepero cookies. The date ’11/11′ is intended to resemble the long shape of the pepero cookie. In South Korea, the 14th of every month marks a love-related day, although most of them are very uncertain. From January to December in Korea’s 14th day of th month celebrations are the: 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. Korean women give a much higher amount of chocolate than Japanese women. On April 14th, the Black Day in South Korea, it is an informal tradition for single Korean people, to get together and eat jajangmyeon black noodles, with black bean sauce, sometimes a white sauce is mixed for those who were not able to celebrate White Day.

Japan’s Valentine’s Day

Japanese dating couple

Japanese dating couple

Japan's Giri-choco

Japan’s Giri-choco

Japan's White Day Cake

Japan’s White Day Cake

White lingerie camisole Japan

White lingerie camisole Japan

The Japanese custom, only women give chocolates to men, some stories appeared to have originated from the error translation of an executive of a chocolate-company during the initial campaigns. Japanese custom on Valentine’s Day commonly the office ladies give chocolate to their male co-office mates. Unlike western countries, gifts such as greeting cards, candies, dinner dates and flowers are uncommon, and most of the activity about the gifts is about giving the right amount of chocolate to each person. The Japanese women feel obliged to give chocolates to all male office mates, except when the day falls on a holiday and Sunday, which is known as giri-choko (義理チョコ), from giri meaning obligation, choko for chocolate, with not popular or close office mates, receiving only chō-giri choko cheap chocolate, an ultra-obligatory gift. This contrasts with chocolates given to loved one or the favorite chocolate or honmei-choko (本命チョコ). Friends, especially girls, may exchange chocolate referred to as tomo-choko (友チョコ) friends exchanging chocolate to female friends, which tomo means, friend“. In the 1980s, the March 14 as a reply day, where men are expected to give gifts in return to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day, and called it White Day, because of the white chocolates, white cakes or even white marshmallows and white lingerie, are offered as gifts to women. White Day (ホワイトデー ) Howaito Dē, is a marked day in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China on March 14, one month after Valentine’s Day. The obligation chocolate or Giri choco, is chocolate given by women to men on Valentine’s Day in Japan.

Valentine’s Day in China

Indochinese Green Magpie

Indochinese Green Magpie (Magpie Festival in China)

Fussa Tanabata Festival,Tokyo, Japan

Fussa Tanabata Festival,Tokyo, Japan

The Chinese Valentine’s Day is the commonly practiced of giving flowers, chocolates for both women or men, friends, relatives and loved ones. It is also known as the Qixi Festival or The Night of Sevens, also known as the Magpie Festival, that falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunar calendar. In Japan it is inspired by the Tabanata Festival, Chisi in Taiwan, Chilseok in Korea and Nguru Lang Chuc in Vietnam, or usually called it Chinese Valentine’s Day. The girls make the melon carving during Valentine’s Day, and make a wish to find a good husband in the future.

Valentine’s Day in India

Radha Madhavam with Krishna

Radha Madhavam with Krishna

Kama and Rati

Kama and Rati

Valentine's Day in India (image credit: faking.in)

Valentine’s Day in India (image credit: faking.in)

In Ancient times in India, the tradition of adoring Kamadeva, the god of love, and the erotic carvings in the Khajuraho Group of Monuments,an example of illustration by the writing of the Kamasutra treaty of lovemaking. However, this tradition was gone in the Middle Ages, and no longer practiced, when Kamadeva was no longer celebrated, and public displays of sexual affections became displeasing to India people, and the Rasa Utsav or Rasa Festival, a celebration of Radha and Krishna’s legendary love affair, an Eastern Bengal and Orissa subcontinent, popular, though at present times this is observed by few of people. In West Bengal, Saraswati Puja festival is observed in early spring where the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning is worshiped, Bengali’s Valentine’s Day version, mostly in the youth urban middle class youth. Valentine’s Day celebrations started catching up in India in 1992, with love letter competition, sending Valentine’s cards special TV and radio programs, where the India’s economic liberalization also helped the Valentine card industry.

Persia / Iran Valentine’s Day

Persia Mehrgan Festival of Autumn table

Persia Mehrgan Festival of Autumn table

In Persian Mehrgân or Mihragān,or Jashn-e Mehr is a Zoroastrian and Persian (Iranian) festival celebrated since the pre-Islamic era in honor of the “Mehr” Yazata which is the patron for friendship, affection and love. It is also widely referred to as Persian Festival of Autumn. The Sepandarmazgan or  Esfandegan, is a festival in Iran, where people express their love to their mothers and wives, and also an earth day celebration in ancient Persian culture. The Saint Valentine celebration, has nothing in common except for a superficial similarity in giving affection, gifts to loved ones, and its origins and motivations are mostly unrelated, but almost forgotten in favor of the Valentine’s Day Western celebration.  Since 2006, the Association of Iran’s Cultural and Natural Phenomena made February 17th Sepandarmazgan a national holiday, replacing the Western holiday.

Malaysia

Awas! Jerat Valentine's Day (image credit: yuitsumuni.com)

Awas! Jerat Valentine’s Day (image credit: yuitsumuni.com)

Malaysian Islamic officials warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine’s Day, linking it with vice activities and that the romantic love celebration are not suitable for Muslims, according to the Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin . The head of the Jakim (Malaysian Islamic Development Department) Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, which managed the Malaysia Islamic policies said a ruling or fatwa issued in 2005 by the country’s top clerics noted that Valentine’s Day ‘is associated with Christianity elements  and Muslims getting involved with other worshiping religion’s rituals. Thus, the Jakim officials planned to carry out a campaign called “Mind the Valentine’s Day Trp” or in Bahasa Malaysia,  “Awas Jerat Valentine’s Day” aiming to  prevent the Muslims from celebrating the February 14th celebration and conducted raids in hotels to stop young couples from having unlawful sex, distributing leaflets to warn the students in the Islamic university against the Valentine’s day in 2011. The Malaysian religious authorities arrested more than 100 Muslim couples concerning the Valentine’s celebration ban in 2011. Some of them would be charged in the Shariah Court for defying the department’s ban against the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

sailor’s valentine

Sailors Valentine

Sailors Valentine

A form of shellcraft antique souvenir made of various small seashells is known as the sailor’s valentine. These were originally the 1830’s and 1890’s product and they were designed to be brought from a sailor’s voyage at sea, back home and given to the sailor’s loved ones. The Sailor’s Valentine are typically glass frame in octagonal shape, sealed with wooden boxes, displaying complicated measuring designs made of entirely of small various colored sea shells glued at the back. Most often the patterns feature a compass rose centerpiece or a heart design, thus the name derived  in some cases from the small shells which is used to spell out a sentimental loving messages.

 

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