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Valentine's day post 2: The history and traditions of the holiday

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Also check out how to say "I love you" in more than 100 languages!

Valentine's day originated somewhere in Europe. It originated as a Christian holiday to remember Saint Valentine. Although there are many rumors to how the holiday started, and who Saint Valentine was, it is commonly agreed that St. Valentine preformed weddings for people forbidden to marry for some reason. Eventually the holiday became a day for sweethearts and love in general.

Traditions

Americas

Valentine's day is commonly celebrated in the Americas. Typically in the United States, cards of some sort are made and exchanged with candy (popularly chocolate, Sweethearts and lolipops colored red or pink). These cards can be for anyone, even strangers. Many countries Latin America also celebrate El día del amor y la amistad, or the day of love and friendship (there are various other names, depending on the country). The traditions are diverse but often are revolved around acting out a favor of appreciation. In Brazil, June 12 is considered Lover's day (Dia dos Namorados).

Europe

In Europe, traditions vary widely from country to country. Some countries like Greece, Finland and Estonia consider the day as a friend's day. Others like the Scandinavian countries, the UK, Spain, Portugal, France and more recently Romania treat the holiday much like the holiday in the Americas.

Asia

Various places in East Asia (Japan, South Korea, and some places in China) celebrate Valentine's day as a women's holiday, were she is expected to give a gift to all the males she knows. Exactly one month later, on March 14th, the men give something back to her of equal or greater value. March 14th is known as "White Day". In South Korea, the 14th of every month is a lover's holiday, which includes days like Black day and Hug day. In Taiwan, the role is reversed; men give gifts on Valentine's day, an women on White day. Chinese Valentine's day is celebrated on the 7th month of the 7th year on the lunar calendar

The Philippines celebrate valentine's day much in the same manner as the U.S.. East Malaysia tolerates Valentine's day, but West Malaysia warns against it, fearing it to be related to illegal activities and the opposition of Islam.

Middle East and India

Most Middle Eastern countries have either banned or replaced Valentine's day for fears of the holiday opposing Islamic culture. Despite this, some non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday in the privacy of their homes in Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is one of the few countries in the Islamic world that celebrates a form of Valentine's day actively due to strong connections with Saint Valentine as a patron saint. Israel has an equivalent of Valentine's day, called Tu B'av (ט"ו באב), celebrated somewhere in August.

In India, Valentine's day is increasingly popular, despite the fact religious, political, intellectual and cultural boundaries strongly discourage it's celebration.


Do you come from a culture that celebrates Valentine's day, or a holiday similar to it? If so, how is it celebrated? What do you think about other countries' views of the holiday?

Stay tuned for part 3!

2 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lorel90
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In Latin America is has many names: Día de San Valentín, Día del Amor and Día del amor y la amistad.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

Yeah, it's hard to pin down the date of Tu B'Av (or any other Jewish holiday for that matter) since the Jewish calendar does not align with the Gregorian calendar (which is why the first day of Chanukah can fall on Thanksgiving before falling on Christmas three years later).

Also, fun fact, the name of the holiday actually tells you when it is. Using the archaic Hebrew numbering system that assigned numbers to letters, ט and ו together makes 15. The letters are then contracted to form "Tu" (since ט makes a "t" sound and ו makes an "u" sound). B'Av means "in Av," Av being one of the Jewish months. Therefore, it literally means "Fifteen(th day) in Av." This also happens with Tu B'Shvat (often written as Tu BiShvat to better represent the phonetics) (on the fifteenth of Shvat) and Tisha B'Av (on the ninth of Av).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sachi-Yoda1
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Wow this is interesting❤

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanShales
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Interesting!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ildi0-0

Interesting! I like this holiday very much! <3

2 years ago
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