LIFESTYLE
14/02/2018 15:06 SAST | Updated 14/02/2018 15:48 SAST

9 Interesting Valentine's Day Traditions Around The World

From exchanging wooden spoons and pig-inspired gifts, to special holidays for the loveless to mourn their single status...

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While SA stores are flooded with candy hearts, chocolates and stuffed animals this Valentine's Day, not every country turns to greeting cards and hearts to declare love.

From exchanging wooden spoons and pig inspired gifts, to special holidays for the loveless to mourn their single status over black noodles, Valentine's traditions in other countries are as interesting as they are weird.

Take a look at nine of them:

1. Germany

Gifts and delicacies derived from, or inspired by, pigs are plentiful in the country over Valentine's Day, as pigs are seen as a symbol of luck and lust.

Further, kids are not allowed to celebrate the day in Germany – it's strictly for adults.

2. Italy

In Italy, the day is a lovers only holiday, Sharon Schweitzer, the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide told Reader's Digest. If you're not in love, the day is a normal one for you.

3. Denmark

Instead of popular red roses, Snowdrops are the flower of choice in Denmark. Danish men are also known to send women funny poems, called gaekkebrev, which are signed anonymously. If the receiver can guess who sent the letter, he'll give her an Easter egg, come that holiday.

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4. China

Although Valentine's Day is gaining more popularity in China, the Chinese have a festival called Qixi, often called "Chinese Valentine's Day". It's celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar, which usually falls in August. Women have been known to traditionally pray for a husband, or to gain great sewing skills, on the day.

5. Estonia

In Estonia, the day is also called "Friend's Day" to encourage a celebration of love beyond romantic relationships. Riding a "love bus" is not just a pithy euphemism, but a literal thing a single person can do to gain luck and a chance to find romance.

6. Czech Republic

Although Valentine's Day is acknowledged, the country's main day of love is on May 1, when lovers kiss under cherry trees for happiness and good health.

7. Wales

You won't find the Welsh celebrating Saint Valentine, instead, people in Wales celebrate Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, on January 25.

One traditional romantic Welsh gift is a love spoon, with patterns and symbols each with it's own different meaning carved into them. Today, love spoons are also exchanged for celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries and births.

8. South Korea

On Valentine's Day in South Korea, women buy chocolates for men. One month later, on a day called White Day, men have to splash out for the ladies, if their feelings are mutual.​​​​​ And for those who don't have much to celebrate on either Valentine's Day or White Day, there is a third holiday called Black Day on April 14. It's customary for singletons to "mourn" their solitary status by eating dark bowls of jajangmyeon, or black bean paste noodles, on this day.

9. South Africa

While Valentine's Day is celebrated across the country, a special mass wedding takes place at one of Cape Town's most iconic tourist and historical venues, Robben Island, on February 14. The annual event has taken place for almost 20 years.