What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to Others Around the World?

Alyvia Pierson, Staff Writer/Editor

February 14 is the most romantic day of the year. Marked by flowers, chocolates, cards and romantic gestures, Americans go to the max for their loved ones. But what does the rest of the world do to celebrate?

Two tales describe the origin of Valentine’s Day. The first goes as follows. Once upon a time in third-century Rome, Emperor Claudius II believed young single men would be better suited as soldiers than men with families. Therefore, he forbade marriages between young people. St. Valentine, a priest, disobeyed the emperor and held secret marriages. Claudius II discovered the priest’s wrongdoing and sentenced St. Valentine to death.

The second tale says otherwise. The priest helped rescue tortured Christians from the harsh Roman prison. The world became aware of St. Valentine’s noble act and celebrated his name in the word of love. Either way, history led us to celebrate one of the most popular holidays. In contrast to America, how does the rest of the world celebrate the most romantic day of the year?


Romanians celebrate Valentine’s Day differently; in fact, they don’t call it that all; instead, it’s Dragobete, meaning “Days of Lovers” in English. The occasion is marked by young couples’ engagements and welcomes the spring season. Traditionally, the soon-to-be-married couples pick flowers in the forests or wash their faces in the snow for good luck. Popular tourist destinations are Bucharest and Brasov.







Argentinians can’t get enough of one day of love, so they celebrate for an entire week during “The Week of Sweetness.” The seven-day event centers around kisses, chocolate exchanges, and love letters. Tourists often visit Iguazu Falls, Tierra Del Fuego National Park, and Ushuaia.







South Korea

Imagine celebrating love once a month and 12 times a year! Well, South Korea does just that on the 14 of every month! For example, in May, Koreans engage in “The day of roses,” followed by “The day of kisses” in June, and “The day of hugs” in December. Women give chocolates and gifts to their crushes, while men give them candies and gifts on White Day (March 14). Remember the singles! “The black day” is celebrated in April by eating black noodles. Popular tourist destinations are Seoul and Busan.





Ghana has something that’ll make everyone indulge in their sweet tooth: National Chocolate Day on February 14. What better way to celebrate with loved ones than with chocolate? Not just any chocolate but rich, flavorful, and delicious chocolate from all-natural cocoa trees. On this highly anticipated occasion, one can attend performances, music events, and restaurants with themed menus for the special day. Ghana created this day as an initiative to increase tourism. Famous tourist destinations are Cape Coast, Accra, and Kakum National Park.







Czech Republic

Instead of celebrating love in February, Czechs commemorate Valentine’s Day on May 1 on a day called International Labor Day or “Day of Love.” On that day, young couples go on a pilgrimage, an inspirational journey of self-discovery, to the statue of the poet Karol Hynek Macha and kiss under the cherry trees for good luck. Popular tourist destinations are Prague, Kutna Hora, and Karlovy Vary.





Brazilians celebrate “Dia dos Namorados,” a “Lovers Day” festival. There’s an exchange of chocolates, cards, and flowers, and one can witness music festivals and dance performances. Gifting is not reserved for couples during the festival; family dinners are also standard on the day. Dinners amongst partners include typical Valentine’s Day gifts, such as chocolates, love letters, and flowers. It’s common to organize surprises and send lovey-dovey gifts during the day, like the U.S. Tourists attractions are Rio De Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo.





Sen, Sukanya. “18 Valentine’s Day Traditions around the World That Make the Day of Love Special.” TravelTriangle, 25 Nov. 2022, https://traveltriangle.com/blog/valentines-day-traditions-around-the-world/.