Valentine’s Day


Faith Smith, Community

Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide but celebrated differently in other countries. Sometimes it’s not celebrated on the same day as the rest of the world or it has an extended celebration date. Despite being celebrated worldwide, the history of Valentine’s day is not very well known. 


The History of Saint Valentine’s Day

There are varying stories about the origins of Valentine’s Day. However, most agree that it all started with a man named Valentine and ended with a beheading on the orders of Roman emperor Claudius II. The most agreed upon version of the story states that Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who performed weddings for soldiers who were not allowed to marry. After being caught, Valentine was thrown in jail, where he miraculously healed his jailor’s blind daughter before his execution. It is believed that he left her a letter signed ‘From your Valentine,’ which is where the popular phrase on cards comes from.

Others say Valentine’s Day was an effort by the Christian church to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a festival held on February 15th to celebrate fertility for the coming year. “In Ancient Greece, people observed a mid-winter celebration for the marriage of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera.” (Real Simple).


Valentine’s Day Around The World

Ghana celebrates February 14th as National Chocolate Day because they are the second-largest exporter of chocolate in the world. They also host celebrations to honor the cacao farmers.

People in Denmark don’t just hand out any old Valentine’s Day card, “they give a ‘lovers card’ which shows the image of a lover giving a gift that you have to hold up to the light to see.” (Bilingual Kidspot). They give out gaekkebrev, or snowdrop letters, that resemble snowflakes with poems on them. Gaekkebrevs are unsigned, so the recipient must guess who they’re from. If the recipient guesses correctly, the sender owes them an easter egg for Easter, but if they guess incorrectly, the recipient owes the sender an easter egg. For France, this holiday is more about romantic love. Although, the village of Saint-Valentin is widely popular as well. In the Czech Republic, it’s become a tradition for “couples to visit the statue of Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha, situated near a cherry tree grove […] the lovers kiss under the boughs of the cherry trees for good luck.” (Today).

The Philippines have a special way of celebrating Valentine’s Day: the government sponsors a mass wedding where thousands of people get married all at once. In South Korea, they celebrate love on the fourteenth day of each month. In February, it’s Valentine’s Day when women give chocolate to their significant other. In March, it’s time for the men to give their chocolates. On April fourteenth, it is customary to see people who aren’t in a relationship eating a bowl of ‘jajangmyeon’, or noodles in a black bean sauce. On Valentine’s Day in Japan, girls give out chocolates to friends, family, and lovers. They can give either giri-choco, obligatory chocolates, or honmei-choco, true love chocolates.



Editors, R. S. (2023, February 1). Valentine’s Day History, origin, why we celebrate, and more. Real Simple. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from editors. (2009, December 22). Valentine’s Day 2023: Origins, background & traditions – history. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from (2022, January 30). 21 unique Valentine’s day traditions from around the world. Bilingual Kidspot. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from 

Zito, B. B. (2023, January 6). 12 valentine’s day traditions from around the world. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from