There is no other holiday that celebrates love like Valentine’s day. It is celebrated extensively all over the world, with many regions putting their own special cultural spin around it. The central focus of this celebration is love and romance.
The traditional celebration of this day involves the exchange of gifts like flowers and chocolates. February 14 has been the most widely celebrated day since centuries for the practice of Valentine’s gift delivery. But roses and chocolates were not formerly the reigning popular gifts.
History of the Day
The history of Valentine’s Day stretches back to the ancient Roman festival referred to as Lupercalia, which was typically celebrated around February. It was Pope Gelasius who outlawed this festival and replaced it with Valentine’s day.
But only in the 14th century was the linking of this day to love and romance. Historians also speculate that poems composed by Geoffrey Chaucer, a popular English poet, as well as the patterns of the mating of birds in this season, had a huge impact on modern-day celebrations of Valentine’s day.
Additionally, this special day was not linked to greeting cards and gift-giving till the 18th century. It was now that it became a common tradition in England. The impact of this celebration spread to America when Esther Howland, who revolutionized Valentine’s day started to create and mass produce greeting cards to mark the occasion in Massachusetts.
The concept of Valentine’s day spread like wildfire, and in modern times, Valentine’s day greeting cards are sold in billions around the world, ranking it as the second-highest card giving occasion behind only Christmas.
Traditions of Modern Days
Though the exchange of greeting cards is the main way of celebrating Valentine’s day, it is also connected to other traditions like gifting red roses and chocolates in modern times.
The gift of chocolates began in the 19th century when Richard Cadbury designed a way to create economically cheap chocolates when chocolates could be afforded only by the upper classes and the rich.
Also, Cadbury focused on packing chocolates in boxes that were adorned with symbols of love like cupids and hearts. He also pioneered the concept of heart-shaped boxes containing chocolates. These became massive hits and totally impacted what one can find on modern retail shelves.
As for roses, they have always been symbols of affection, love, and romance and have stood the test of time as eternal favourites. But the real popularity of Valentines’ bouquet dates back to the Victorian period when floriography (use of floral arrangements to convey secret messages) began to be practiced commonly.
Another modern tradition of Valentine’s day is that of heart-shaped balloons. Special balloons called Sparkle Surprizes are also popular, and they comprise brightly coloured balloons attached to ribbon lights that are powered by batteries which create a magical experience.
Traditions from Around the World
Valentine’s day is around the corner. People all across the globe are ready to celebrate this special day for friendship, love, and romance. One interesting fact about this day is that each country has a unique way to celebrate this special day. How about celebrating this day in the following countries?
Typically, the world over, it is the man who splurges big to spoil his special lady with costly gifts for Valentine’s day. But in Japan, there is a reversal of gender roles. Here, it is the woman who does the maximum spending. Additionally, on March 14, every year, the Japanese celebrate a White Day where men reciprocate gifts like Valentine’s bouquet, which their partners gifted them one month before that is on Valentine’s day.
Ghana is one of the leading exporters of cocoa in the world. Therefore, it is only logical that people of Ghana gift their partners with chocolates every Valentine’s day. As a matter of fact, the latter has been renamed National Chocolate day in Ghana. But there are differences. Besides traditional gifts like in other parts of the world, Ghanaians also enjoy chocolate-themed meals in restaurants and even visit chocolate-themed exhibits in museums.
Valentine’s day is a relatively new celebration in Denmark. Danes have already found special modes for celebrating this day of romance. On February 14 every year, the Danes present their partners with white pressed flowers, named Snow Drops, along with Valentine’s day greeting card.
Another tradition is that of Gaekkebrev; this is a small poem or funny rhyme written on a delicately cut paper and is gifted anonymously. Additionally, if the recipient can guess the identity of the sender correctly, he or she will be awarded an Easter egg later on that year.
In sum, February 14 is not simply a day for going on a date and gifting one’s partner. It is a special day to celebrate the love and bond shared by a couple. Valentines’ gift delivery is the icing on this cake.