Valentine's Day of the Day of Love is a global holiday. Not always celebrated on the same day or in the same way, most countries and regions around the world enjoy their own version of love customs. Sometimes the love is for children - giving gifts to children as we do at Christmas in the Northern hemisphere. Sometimes it is a day to acknowledge friends or co-workers. In some countries, women give chocolate to men and men receive the gifts. And in other countries, Valentine's Day and public display of love and affection is banned.
In most of Latin America, Valentine's Day is known as a Day of Love and Friendship. In such countries as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Costa Rica, people show appreciation for their friends. And in many Latin American countries there is also a tradition of giving an anonymous gift to a "Secret Friend," often one who is randomly chosen.
European countries also celebrate Valentine's Day but with varying specific customs. For example, in Denmark and Norway, couples may share a romantic dinner; in Finland it is more a day of remembering friends; in Lithuania and Latvia, people often put stickers on the faces and clothing of a friend; and in most regions of the UK, Valentine's Day is celebrated with flowers, chocolates and gifts just as in North America.
Hindu and Islamic traditionalists in India as well as many Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran consider Valentine's Day and the giving of these gifts as "cultural contamination from the West." In these cultures they prohibit the public display and admission of love. In Israeli culture, there is a day marked as the festival of love, although it is at a different time during the year.
In South Korea and Japan, the custom seems to be reversed. It is the women who give chocolate to the men on February 14. But the gift giving is reciprocal. The men give non-chocolate candies to the women on March 14, known as White Day. In Japan, women traditionally give chocolate to their co-workers on Valentine's Day and it is known that many Japanese chocolate companies make about half their yearly income at this time. And in Korea, there is even a strong stigma for those who did not receive any gift. It is said that a month later, on April 14, known as Black Day, those who did not receive anything on the two gift giving days will go to a restaurant and order black noodles to symbolize the sorry state of being single. In Taiwan, the gift giving is reversed. Men give Valentine's Day gifts and women reciprocate on White Day. But in China, it is the man who gives chocolate, flowers to his beloved woman.
How do you plan to spend your Valentine's Day this year? Do you have someone special you are giving a gift to? Are you expecting one from someone you love? Or are you like so many of us, perhaps between relationships or you have been single for quite awhile without a new relationship in sight. Isn't it time you gave yourself the love you have been seeking. Find out how to heal through love in the information below. And give yourself a beautiful Valentine's gift this year. Who is more important than you?
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