Valentine’s Day Around The World

Last Sunday was Valentine’s Day, which is a big holiday in America.  As I’m sure you know, in America men give presents to women, not the other way around like in Japan.  There is also no white day in America.  Also, it is common for adults to only give presents to their wives or girlfriends, not to friends and coworkers.  Only about 10% of people in America give presents to their coworkers.  Popular gifts include roses, chocolate and other candy, cards, and accessories like necklaces or earrings.  It is also popular to get engaged on Valentine's Day.  Valentine’s Day is much more expensive in America than in Japan.  A 2012 survey found that the average American man spends about $170 (¥20,000), while a survey by the Lotte chocolate company found that the average Japanese woman spends about ¥3,200.  That’s a big difference!

Modern Valentine’s Day became popular to celebrate in England and America in the 1800s.  In Japan, celebrating Valentine’s became popular in the 1950s and 1960s.  In India, on the other hand, Valentine’s Day became popular in the early 1990s because public displays of affection and love were considered inappropriate before that.  In many Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Malaysia Valentine’s Day is banned, and people are arrested each year for celebrating the holiday.  The religious police in Saudi Arabia removed all red roses from flower shops in 2012.  In South Korea, the 14th of every month is a love related holiday.  From January to December: Candle Day, Valentine's Day, White Day, Black Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day. Korean women give a much higher amount of chocolate than Japanese women.

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

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