13 February 2012

love is all around

The flowers and plush teddy bears are flooding our eyesight this week. Sweet love (and some Hallmark manufactured love…) is in the air. Western culture and traditions like the heart shaped day happening this week have spread pretty far around the globe, but other countries have their own ways to celebrate romance. From ropes to broken plates we’ve picked a few highlights. So take a look for a new place and a new way to celebrate with your better half..

IT’S ALL ABOUT WHITE DAY IN JAPAN

In Japan, the western version of Valentine’s Day has arrived but, in this country it’s the women who do the chocolate buying. And it’s not just lovers that get gifts either. Women buy different types of chocolates for male friends and lovers. And they’re careful not to get them mixed up we’d imagine. One month later, on White Day, the men return the favour with gifts two or three times more expensive.

LOVE ALONG THE GRAPE VINE IN ISRAEL

Israel has adopted American’s traditions of V-Day too but they also have their own. Tu B’Av is the festival of love in August, and the beginning of the grape harvest as it happens. Wine and love: two good reasons to visit.

TYING THE KNOT (LITERALLY) IN AFRICA

In some African tribes, during the wedding ceremony, the couple is literally tied together at the wrist with rope or string to symbolize their union. Taking the whole ‘tying the knot’ idea rather seriously…

CHINA IN YOUR HANDS IN GERMANY

We all want to be wished good luck on our wedding day. But getting plates thrown at you may not be your idea of lucky. Unless you’re in Germany, where old dishes are thrown and shattered in front of the couple. The more broken china the better. Except for whoever has to clean it all up.

WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE IN SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa, the Roman tradition of Lupercalia is still held up. Part of the tradition includes women pinning the name of the person they love on their sleeve. May come as quite a surprise for anyone the victim of a secret crush. Until now.

Words by Marianne McPhee

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