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The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World

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A Valentine’s Day celebration in Verona, Italy, the home of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet.

Even in the dead of winter, people also find something to celebrate. Valentine’s Day has its roots in the Ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which you can read all about in The Spartan Speak’s article: A History of Valentine’s Day. This lovely holiday has spread around the world since and many different cultures around the world have added their own special traditions to the already amazing day. Below are 5 of these traditions that make everyone’s February a little more sweet.

In Fair Verona

In Italy on February 14th, people commemorate the Roman goddess of marriage: Juno. It is common to give hazel or cherry chocolate to one’s love and it is often said that the first man a single woman sees on that day will resemble her true love. Furthermore, in Verona, the home of the tragic Romeo and Juliet, there are four days of festivities which include feasts and love-letter writing competitions.

Marriage En Masse in The Philippines

In the Philippines, it is a common occurrence for the government to host massive marriage ceremonies for many couples at once. There is also an event known as “lovapalooza” which takes place on the beaches of Manila in which all the couples kiss at midnight.

Finland’s Friendship Day

In the Nordic nation of Finland, Ystävänpäivä is what the people celebrate on February 14th, and instead of the focus being on romance, it is rather on friendship. Finns from Helsinki to Oulu give each other small gifts to show how much they mean to them.

Having a Heart on One’s Sleeve in South Africa

The phrase “to wear one’s heart on your sleeve” typically means that someone’s emotions are always easy to tell. However, in South Africa, they take it to a whole other level. It is a common practice on Valentine’s Day for women to wear a paper heart on their sleeve with the name of their love on it. They wear it the entire day to make their affection known.

A Danish Mystery

Lastly, there is the practice of gaekkebrev in which friends and family members exchange anonymous letters that can either be sincere or joking in manner. The catch is that if the recipient is able to guess the identity of the sender, then they are owed an egg at Easter. If their guess is wrong, however, then they owe the real sender the egg instead.

This year, spice up your Valentine’s Day with one of the traditions from above. Whether it be giving a friend a funny poem or declaring your love on your sleeve, make sure to enjoy this festive February day.

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About the Contributor
Joseph Mariani, Editor-in-Chief
Hi, my name is Joseph Mariani, I am a senior, and this is my third year writing for The Spartan Speaks. I am excited to report on school events, especially clubs and sports, and make a few crosswords too. I like to play hockey, football, and golf, and I enjoy participating in debate and Quiz Bowl as well.

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