Valentine’s Day Global Traditions

Katie Ellison, Staff Writer

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there are many ways people around the world can celebrate. Here are a few unique Valentine’s Day traditions from various countries around the world!

  • Argentina

Argentina actually doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th, but instead, celebrates a “week of sweetness” later in July. Couples exchange sweet treats such as chocolates and other traditional sweets during this time.

  • Philippines  

Many young couples in the Philippines choose to get married on Valentine’s Day through a big gala event sponsored by their government. Ever since the government and a toothpaste brand started this event in 2004, Filipino couples have been gathering to compete for a world record: the most people kissing simultaneously. 

  • Wales

Wales’ citizens celebrate Valentine’s Day on January 25th called the “day of San Dwynwen.” On this day, couples exchange handcrafted spoons, which has been a tradition since the 16th century. 

  • Denmark

While Denmark is fairly new to celebrating Valentine’s Day, the country has its own traditions with gift-giving. Couples exchange handwritten letters pressed with small, white flowers called “snowdrops.” 

  • Ghana

Ghana celebrates Valentine’s Day as “National Chocolate Day,” being one of the largest global producers of cocoa. Citizens can attend music events and even dine with a special themed menu for the day. 

  • Norway

All Hearts Day, or Valentinsdagen, marks the start of the Lupercalia festival observed on February 13th through 15th to get rid of evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Citizens also exchange chocolates and cards while out at a fancy dinner on this day. 

  • El Salvador & Dominican Republic

One fun tradition both of these countries celebrate is a small gift exchange, similar to Secret Santa, among children. They call this Angelito or Amigo Secreto, which translates to Little Angel and Secret Friend.

  • Greece

With much of Valentine’s Day history intertwined with Greek Mythology, Greece celebrates Valentine’s Day by putting on elaborate parades and festivals in celebration. It is often believed in Greece that Cupid is responsible for bringing friends, family, and lovers close together. 

  • Singapore

In Singapore, it is believed that on the 15th day of February, if an unmarried woman throws mandarins into the Singapore river at dusk, she will meet her soulmate in the coming days. Stores in Singapore also offer many couples packages for discounted products. 

  • South Africa

It’s a tradition for South African women to wear hearts on their sleeves on February 14th. Women also pin the names of their love interests to their sleeves, where in some cases, South African men learn of their secret admirers. 


Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions with your family or friends? How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let me know at [email protected]!