More than just another date on the calendar, February 14 Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to bring back the romance and express your love and devotion to that special person in your life.
Roses are red my love
Take a guess. How may roses are estimated to be grown in the countdown to Valentine’s Day? It’s around 250 million roses. Thanks to the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day the floral industry is in full bloom, making Valentine’s Day one of the busiest days of the year for the global floriculture industry.
Presenting red roses to someone special you want to impress on, dates to the 17th century. The practice can be traced to King Charles 11 of Sweden who learnt all about the significance of flowers and what they symbolised on his trip to Persia. On his return he is said to have introduced the tradition to Europe. The act of gifting flowers gradually became a trend in the Victorian era, more so on Valentine’s Day with red roses symbolising deep love.
Popping the big question
Did you know that Valentine’s Day is also one of the most popular days to pop the big question. What better day to propose to the love of your life by slipping on an engagement ring or gifting a precious piece of jewellery that declares your love — than the day dedicated to love and romance?
Besides, who wouldn’t say yes after seeing a beautifully wrapped jewellery box begging to be opened?
Interestingly in the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is considered to be a perfect time for weddings. Traditionally, hundreds of couples come together for mass weddings. There have been times when the mass weddings have made newspaper headlines as they’ve tried to break the world record of the maximum number of people kissing at one time.
Other ways to say PS: I love you
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than good old fashioned love letters or a walk in the moonlight with the one you cherish. Writing poetry, an ode to your loved one may come a close second. Though some would prefer a day at the spa with a range of pampering treatments. A candlelit dinner for two at your favourite restaurant could win some more brownie points.
A rom-com marathon, tickets to a concert that sweeps the two of you off your feet, wine and chocolate tastings, a drive down memory lane, reliving how you first met, are other options to work your way into someone’s heart, and stay there.
Different things to different people
Many Latin American countries celebrate the holiday as the day of lovers while others prefer to devote it to friendship and their besties which could even include pets.
In Japan, it’s customary for women to typically gift chocolates to the men they fancy or the men in their lives.
On March 14, exactly a month later, the tradition is for men to return the favour by gifting the women a special gift on the increasingly popular ‘White Day’ which is now being celebrated in other Asian countries too.
Whereas in Finland and Estonia, February 14 is more about friendship. People exchange cards and gifts with their friends who matter.
In Slovenia, Valentines’ Day is observed as the first day of spring and is considered a prime day of working in the fields. However, a month later Slovenians typically celebrate romance on St. Gregory’s Day, which falls on March 12. According to oral folk tradition it is on this day that birds propose to each other and are joined in wedlock. In the days of yore, it was customary for young maidens to look up to the skies with the hope of finding some answers. It was believed that the first bird they would see indicated the kind of husband they will end up marrying. Adding a new twist to the old saying, ‘birds of a feather flock together’.