Quirky Valentine’s Day traditions from bay leaves to forever-alone day


WE are all familiar with gift giving, flowers and chocolates being associated with Valentine’s Day, but some countries have a different take on the day of romance.

In Denmark, men send anonymous poems to their crushes and sign them with a rhyme for each letter in their name. If the women guess who the sender is they receive an Easter egg with details of their first date inside.

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Gift giving roles are reversed in Japan, where it is the women who must give their partners chocolates in a tradition known as Tanabata. A month later the men must return the favour with flowers.

Japanese couples also take the opportunity to go to Mount Fuji and ring the bell three times to wish for eternal love.

In England women will place five bay leaves under their pillow – four on the corners, one in the middle – on the evening before Valentine’s Day in order to see their future husbands in their dreams.

A far less cheerful tradition in South Korea sees singles who couldn’t find a partner by Valentine’s Day eat black noodles a month later to ‘reflect’ on their solitude.


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