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Fall 2010

Valentine's Day: Love Around the World

An image of a red heart


For Brazilians, the celebrations occur on June 12, called Dia dos Namorados, or the “Day of Lovers.” This day of festivals honors Saint Anthony, patron saint of matchmaking and marriage.


In Denmark, young courters write gaekkebrev, joking letters that are signed with the number of dots that are in the sender’s name.


One ancient, outlawed tradition in France was called une loterie d’amour (lottery of love). It involved single neighbors pairing off for festivities on February 14. Another tradition (also outlawed) is for women to build bonfires and burn pictures of men who hurt them over the past year.


A surge in flower exports—a major part of India’s economy—is a reason to celebrate. Roughly 45 percent of exports are made between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.


In Japan, Valentine’s Day is split into two holidays. On February 14, women make chocolates to give to men they are interested in; men are expected to reciprocate on March 14.


The “red rain” of Valentine’s Day decorations descends on Mexico almost as soon as Christmas celebrations end. Celebrations may begin at the end of December and run through February.

-Jennifer Tingey