Valentine’s Day traditions around the world

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A heart shaped tree sits in a field of Roses

Chayton Brewer-Burgin, Features Editor

Among the Valentine’s Day traditions, none are more common than giving your significant other roses, candles, chocolates and unique gifts. But America is not the only country that celebrates Valentine’s day; several other countries have enjoyed the similar traditions as Americans and have also adopted their practices to fit their own cultures.
One country that celebrates the equivalent of Valentine’s Day is China. Qixi; Qixi is about the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year. The lore of Qixi is that a heavenly king’s daughter named Zhinu fell in love with a cow herder named Niulang; they then married and had twins.
When Zhinu’s father found out, he took her back to heaven, But hearing the cries of the children and Niulang, Zhinu’s father allowed them to see each other once a year on Qixi. During Qixi, women offer fruits and melons to Zhinu in hopes of finding love. Couples also head to temples to pray for happiness and prosperity.
South Korea celebrates Valentine’s Day on three separate days and months. On Feb. 14, gift-giving begins, starting with the ladies, who are meant to woo their love interests with candies, chocolates and flowers. Then on March 14, known as White Day, it’s the gentlemen’s turn to shower their loved ones with flowers, candies and chocolates. But they up the ante with a gift alongside everything else. Then on April 14, they celebrate what they call Black Day. This is the day dedicated to singles to mourn their solitary status by eating dark bowls of Jajangmyeon.
In the Philippines, they celebrate Valentine’s Day the same way Americans, but for with one twist. In the Philippines, they hold group weddings with multiple couples getting engaged in the same place simultaneously. They will often gather at malls or other public areas around the country.
It is said that France is traditionally known as the most romantic Country in the world. French people celebrate similar events as in other countries but they also hold a tradition called “loterie d’amour,” or “drawing for love.” In the past, men and women would fill houses that faced each other and take turns calling out names of others and then pairing up. Men who weren’t satisfied with their women would leave, and the single women would later meet up for a bonfire. At the bonfire, women would burn photos of the men who wronged them; they would also shout swears and insults at the opposite gender. The tradition got so out of hand that the French government banned the practice overall.