If you have ever read William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, you will remember the scene in which Friar Lawrence agrees to marry the lovers even though he knew they belonged to rival families, and from that good intention, one of the most famous love tragedies in the history of universal literature is born.  Apparently, in order to construct such a fascinating romantic drama, our good friend Shakespeare dug deep into history and discovered that back in the third century in Rome there was a priest who, like Friar Lawrence, performed secret marriages between young lovers of that time.

It turns out that Emperor Claudius II had forbidden young men from celebrating marriages, believing that unmarried soldiers were better defenders. But a brave priest, Valentinus, defied the edict and secretly married couples in love. When Claudius II found out, he sentenced Valentinus to death on February 14th, 270 A.D. In honor of his bravery, Valentine was canonized, and February 14th is now celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day. However, there is still much debate about the true origin of this special day.

Incredibly, this holiday of love and romance was made popular thanks to a small marketing success by Esther A. Howland. In the 1940s, she began selling self-made romantic gift cards for a few pennies at her father’s bookstore in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her cards quickly became a commercial success, and ever since, people all over the world have been spending money to celebrate this special day.

To give you a glimpse of how different countries express and celebrate love, we’ve put together a small tour of a few of them. From vibrant parades in Brazil to traditional festivals in India, explore how cultures all over the world honor this special day.


Mexico

In Mexico, it has become popular to give flowers, chocolates, heart-shaped balloons, and serenades. Likewise, young couples enjoy spending time together, going to dinner or the movies. However, if when the time comes, there is no lover at the door, it is also common to celebrate by spending time with friends.

United States

In this country, the most common gift is still Valentine’s Day cards between lovers, friends, and family. It is also common to give small hearts with messages such as “Be mine” or “Kiss me”.

Peru

In this South American country, it is a beloved tradition to give orchids, the country’s native flower, as a token of love and affection on Valentine’s Day. It is also a curious phenomenon that on this day, collective weddings are held for all couples to declare their love and commitment to each other in the most romantic way possible. So if you’re looking for a unique and special way to express your love this Valentine’s Day, why not follow the South American tradition and give your special someone an orchid?

Germany

German lovers have a deep-rooted tradition that makes them particularly peculiar: they give pigs as gifts. Yes, a pig in the form of a picture, miniature figure, or chocolate means luck and lust.

Denmark and Norway

In these two Nordic countries, the tradition is to give ‘Gaekkebrev’, small poems with funny rhymes that men send to women anonymously, putting as many dots as letters in their name as the sender. The intention is that the woman who receives the poem guesses who sent her the poem to win an Easter egg, otherwise it is she who has to give the egg away.

South Korea and Japan

In this part of the world, it is the women who take the initiative by buying chocolates for their partners, family members, and co-workers as a token of affection and appreciation.

As you explore the world, you will find that the expression of love takes on a whole new meaning in each culture. At Start Speaking Today, we understand that learning a language is more than just mastering a new set of words; it is also about discovering the unique cultural nuances that come with each language.

By joining our community, you can embark on a journey to learning English with us. We believe that learning a language can truly empower you to connect with cultures from around the world. Come join us and start a better understanding of the world today!

WhatsApp +52 1 56 2821 6106 contacto@startspeakingtoday.com.mx

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