Valentine’s Day All Over the Big World

thebigword has offices in many different parts of the world. It is understood that our offices and our employees are all different, but who thought about our celebrations being so different? This special blog (interjecting the 5 parts of “Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry”) is in honor of February 14th. Each country that thebigword is located in, speaks a different language, and they each celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique way. Read on to see what this special day is like all over the world!


Valentine’s Day is very popular in Germany, but it was not that way until after World War II. With that, there may not be any baggies filled with treats or cards exchanged between children at schools, but that does not mean there is no love for adults! In Germany, Valentine’s Day is limited to the adults… Card-giving, heart-shaped chocolates, the whole shebang! While Germany does have a cute symbol of a little guy who gives flowers to loved ones, he is not the little baby you may know with angel wings who is equipped with a bow and arrow. He’s a pig. Yes, a pig. In fact, pigs are recognized as a sign of luck and lust in Germany, and sometimes they are shown offering flowers or laying in provocative postures on chocolate hearts. Other times, they are holding four-leaf clovers while climbing a little ladder on a heart. If you want to do this holiday right in Germany, give your loved one a giant ginger cookie with a little message on it!


In the UK it is tradition to celebrate Valentine’s Day by writing romantic, dreamy verses, lyrics, and sonnets in order to pay tribute to Saint Valentine, the icon of love. Unlike Germany, the children in the UK are heavily involved in the Valentine’s Day celebrations. They belt out songs of love and romance and receive candies and treats in return. The young girls wake up early and stand near the window with the hopes that the first man they see was meant for her. In some parts of the UK, Valentine’s Day is known as “Birds Wedding Day” because it is believed that birds choose their mates on February 14th. Additionally, it is custom to eat baked buns topped with caraway seeds, plums, and raisins. Valentine’s Day is filled with great joy because it marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. Although, the traditions in the UK are unique, they do not exclude the traditional heart-shaped cards, flowers, and chocolates. If you happen to be in the United Kingdom this time next year, just as a precaution, work on your penmanship and take some singing lessons!


On Valentine’s Day in Sweden, people go to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, where most of the celebrations take place. All the important cities are covered in grand decorations, bright lights, and red and pink colors. Sweden has an array of exotic flowers that make for amazing Valentine’s Day bouquets. In Sweden, it is essential to have pastries, rises, and jelly hearts. Most couples in Sweden go out to romantic dinners, clubs with live music, or the beach to watch the sunset. The adults and youngsters all take part of the enormous Valentine’s Day celebrations by exchanging gift baskets, flower bouquets, candles, and more. Even the night life is filled with events that fit the Valentine’s Day theme. February 14th in Sweden turns every girl’s dream into reality. The cities become whimsical places where love may actually be in the air!


In Finland, February 14th is actually referred to as “Friendship Day.” While other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day with romance, Finnish people celebrate the importance of friendship. Male and female friends exchange gifts, including flower bouquets, perfumes, chocolates, gift baskets, and more. Most restaurants and pubs get decorated in Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. The children in Finland are supposed to say away from the celebrations for Valentine’s Day. However, teenagers and young adults enjoy the day with exchanging gifts and throwing parties.  Finland has greeting cards that are both romantic and funny for Valentine’s Day! Whether you are a couple of lovers or a couple of friends, Finland is great for you on this romantic… err… friendly holiday!


Valentine’s Day in China is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. This is in tribute to the love story about the 7th daughter of the Emperor of Heaven and an orphan cowherd. They were separated by the Emperor and only met once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. On Valentine’s Day, lovers in China go to the Matchmaker temple and pray for their love and happiness. They pray for success and marriage in their relationships. Single people also pray for luck of love at the temple. In China, Valentine’s Day is known as “The Daughter’s Festival.” On this night, unmarried girls pray to the Weaving Maid star to help them develop handcrafting skills and become smarter in order to benefit the future of their families. Are you looking for some guidance in the love department? 7 might just be your lucky number!


Japan celebrates Valentine’s Day in more ways than one. Literally, they have two days set aside for this holiday, February 14th and March 14th. March 14th is known as “White Day.” In February, ladies get gifts for men, usually chocolate. In fact, the type of chocolate is different depending on the type of man. For instance, if women are buying chocolates for their employer, colleges, or friends, they buy Giri-Choco. “Giri” means obligation. If women are buying chocolates for their boyfriends, lovers, or husbands, they give them Hon-Mei. Most women, who want to show true love, make the chocolate themselves instead of buying it at the store. Men often feel embarrassed if they do not receive chocolate because the amount of chocolate they receive dictates their popularity. In March, males return the favor and gift females with white chocolate, flowers, and other treats. Japan understands what a relationship is all about. It takes two (days) to tango.


Valentine’s Day in Demark is a celebration and a festival of love. Lovers exchange “love tokens” such as a “Lover’s Card,” which have the picture of the person giving the card and charming messages. Additionally, people send white flowers called “snowdrops” to their friends and lovers. Young couples write special love poems, beautiful romantic love notes, and some funny poems. These are called “Gaekkebrev.” Valentine’s Day is celebrated with great parties, musical concerts, display shows, art exhibitions, and more all over Denmark. There is so much to do in Denmark on this special day!


Valentine’s Day in America is heavily commercialized, as it is in many other countries. Most females receive flowers or jewelry from their loved ones, while men receive practical or useful gifts. Additionally, it is common to exchange gift baskets filled with heart-shaped treats and other goodies. Parents may give gifts to their children. Children can give gifts to their parents, and they often give their friends cards or chocolates in school. Most lovers and couples go out to a romantic, candlelit dinner to celebrate the occasion. The entire day is filled with hearts,  flowers, candies and lots of red and pink. Us Americans love holidays, and we will never miss an opportunity to celebrate!

thebigword shows its love these 8 different ways on Valentine’s Day. How did you and your loved ones celebrate yesterday? We hope your day was filled with love, laughter, friendship, and yummy candy!

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5 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day All Over the Big World

  1. We hardly celebrate this crap here in Finland. When I was little, there was no ystävänpäivä at all. There’s been a marginal increase in celebrating the day but it is mostly just ignored. Other days that are ignored/marginal here include Halloween and International Women’s day.

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