Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries all over the world. Everyone may do it a little bit differently but the core sentiment of the holiday is love. Let’s take a look at the love traditions, cultures and gifts that are a part of this holiday in Brazil, China and Mexico.
Valentine’s Day may be celebrated on February 14th here in the States, but in Brazil, it’s celebrated on June 12th. It also has a different name: “Dia dos Namorados,” meaning “Lovers’ Day,” “Boyfriend/Girlfriend day” or “Couples’ Day.”
As in America, couples send cards, red roses and chocolates, and take their dates out to a romantic candlelit dinner, perhaps with a proposal at the end. It’s also common for single teens and adults to hold “singles parties” on Valentine’s Day where a bunch of friends meet up for dinner and a fun time.
Valentine’s Day in Brazil is meant to coincide with Saint Anthony’s Day. Saint Anthony is known as a patron saint of marriage, known for blessing couples with happy and prosperous marriages, as well as for helping single women find love.
Chinese Valentine’s Day is also not on February 14th but rather in August, falling on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. This year it will fall on August 7th, commemorating the Double Seventh Festival in China, also known as Qixi Festival. This is China’s equivalent to the west’s Valentine’s Day in February, usually centered around the retelling of the Chinese mythology story of the “Weaving Maid and the Cowherd.”
It is common to exchange gifts like flowers, chocolates, ties and watches, go on dates, and eat lots of chocolate on Valentine’s Day in China. Same as here, the price of flowers goes up and the cinemas are full. Restaurants have special set menus, especially those in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Gifts from the guys include red roses, chocolates, jewelry, dresses, handbags, combs and necklaces. Gifts from ladies include watches, ties, shirts, wallets and lighters. If you are a guy and are in love with your lady, don’t give her yellow roses, as this signals that you want to break up.
In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th like in America. It is celebrated with balloons and roses, and couples will go out to dinner. It’s also known as El Día del Amor y la Amistad, meaning a day of friendship and love. It’s a common day for proposals, and the exchange of notes, cards and sweets. Valentine’s Day in Mexico is not all that different from the U.S.!
If you are interested in traveling to any of these places in time for Valentine’s Day, start learning the language now so you are well prepared. BRIC Language Systems can help with our online learning with native speakers.