Valentine’s Day Around the World


Rylee Farrar, Staff Writer

Although Valentine’s Day’s exact origin  is unknown, many historians look to the ancient Romans in order to pinpoint its early days.

Hundreds of years ago, the Romans participated in Lupercalia, a celebration that took place from February 13 through 15 in order to “guarantee” a woman’s fertility. This was ensured by sacrificing an animal, which men would use to whip women with its hide. A matchmaking sequence would also take place, where women’s names were drawn from a jar in order to pair up a couple for the festival.

The name of Valentine’s Day can be credited to other Roman events. During the late 500’s, February 14 was celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day, which was named after the Catholic priest who had been martyred.

This day was commonly declared the beginning of the mating season for birds, which first sparked the concept of love revolving around the holiday. The term “Galatin,” or “lover of women,” was also celebrated around this time, which has a similar pronunciation and may have resulted in the holidays being confused.

While the ancient backstory and traditions evolved from unique origins, modern Valentine’s Day also involves some interesting celebrations around the world.


Giving a loved one roses is a common Valentine’s Day tradition in most areas of the world. However, in Denmark, snowdrops are more frequently gifted. Snowdrops are small white flowers that peak during February and March, hence why they are so popular for the holiday.

South Korea

In South Korea, celebrating love on the 14th does not just apply to February. Although the holidays have different names, the celebration is similar to Valentine’s Day but exists every month. South Koreans will usually eat black noodles when celebrating this day.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, it is extremely common for couples to get married on Valentine’s Day. Dino Reyes Chua, the mayor of Noveleta, Manila, supervises these weddings and becomes one of the godparents of the couple who marries. This is because the government pays for the wedding reception in return.


Similar to Denmark, Peruvians have a differing Valentine’s Day flower. Orchids are more popular than roses, as they are extremely copious in the area.


Finally, in Finland, Valentine’s Day is not limited to significant others. Many people will give gifts of gratitude to their friends as well, such as cards and candies.