Valentine’s Day Around the World
In Japan, women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. In the West, women expect chocolates from their men! Even though Valentine’s Day (February 14) is celebrated differently across the world, Cupid never shoots far from the hearts of lovers worldwide. What are you going to do on Valentine’s Day? Let’s take a look at the various ways people from different countries celebrate this holiday.
Americans generally celebrate Valentine’s Day by exchanging cards, chocolates or roses. Roses are symbolic of love; if you’re in America and you get a rose from someone you know, make sure you give that person a nice, big hug (and a kiss, if you’re close to him or her). Better yet, have a rose ready for that person you love! Also, Valentine’s Day is a busy day for fancy restaurants as many couples make reservations to mark the special day.
In Brazil, Valentine’s Day is known as Dia dos Namorados (Lover’s Day), and it is actually celebrated on June 12. Brazilians have a different date for Valentine’s Day, because the original date falls during Carnival. Unlike Valentine’s Day in most countries, Brazilians celebrate the day by having huge gatherings with family and friends. They exchange gifts and have grand dinners. Kind of boring? Well, there are many musical concerts on Valentine’s Day in Brazil, so couples have the chance to dance away!
Interestingly, Valentine’s Day is banned in Saudi Arabia! Saudis are not allowed to celebrate this day, and all sales of Valentine’s Day gifts or anything red-colored are prohibited. Although Valentine’s Day has become commercialized and devoid of any religious overtones, the Saudi authorities deem it a Christian holiday. Regardless, lovers celebrate this day secretly, and there is even a black market for Valentine’s Day goods.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
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Cupid (n) – the Greek god of love (commonly seen with a bow and arrow)
Carnival (n) – period of celebration during February and March
gathering (n) – a group of people in one place
to exchange (v) – to give and take
banned (adj) – not allowed
prohibited (adj) – not allowed
commercialized (adj) – organized for profit
devoid (adj) – lacking
overtones (n) – nuances
to deem (v) – to consider
black market (n) – place where illegal items are sold