Valentine’s Day is held every year on the 14th of February and is synonymous with romance. With a little help from our Croudie Network and our internal teams, we decided to take a look at some of the most unique and interesting Valentine’s Day celebrations and traditions from around the world.
In France, Valentine’s Day is known as la fête de Saint-Valentin or just la Saint-Valentin. Paris is often called the ‘city of love’, and it is therefore not surprising that Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated. However, you won’t find many cards being sent or novelty items being exchanged. Whilst gifting flowers and small presents is commonplace, couples often focus on time together – booking romantic meals, or weekend getaways.
Did you know?
There is a self-named ‘village of love’ in France – Saint Valentin. This village, which is in the central Loire Valley region, usually hosts a February festival each year and decorates the whole village with red roses. You can get married, get your letters stamped from the Saint Valentin post office, and watch heart-shaped chocolate being made.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is a unique holiday that deviates from the traditional Western celebrations. On February 14th, it’s more common for women to present gifts, specifically chocolate, to men. However, Valentine’s Day is not just a celebration for lovers, and nowadays women give out small chocolates to any of the special people in their life, including family, friends as well as colleagues at school or work. The younger generation creates homemade chocolates in a practice known as ‘giri choco,’ or ‘obligatory chocolate,’ – this is considered a gesture of friendship or gratitude rather than a romantic declaration.
In Japan there’s also a love confessing culture known as ‘kokuhaku’, literally meaning ‘confession’ where a man or woman will ask to begin officially dating and become a couple. Valentine’s Day can therefore act as the perfect chance for people to confess love through ‘kokuhaku’.
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March 14th, commonly known as ‘White Day’ in Japan, is a day where men are expected to return the gesture by giving gifts, such as white chocolate or other sweets, to the women who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. These two holidays have become a major market for Japan’s confectionery and gift industries, with companies offering special products and packages for both occasions. The market insights of the Valentine’s Day tradition in Japan reflect a unique blend of cultural customs and consumer spending patterns, making it a unique opportunity for businesses and marketers to reach a large and diverse audience.
As a nation full of festivities, China is lucky enough to celebrate Valentine’s Day not once, not twice, but three times in the year! Whilst the original Valentine’s Day is celebrated much like it is in other countries – on the 14th of February – China holds another day of love on the seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month. The Qixi Festival, which is more commonly known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s’, is a unique festival based on a romantic legend about a weaver girl and an ox herd. As well as Valentine’s Day and Qixi Festival, 520 (held on the 20th of May) is another day for boys to express their romantic love to girls. Nowadays Chinese couples celebrate Qixi and 520 in a similar way to Valentine’s Day, and the two days usually have a strong commercial element, involving the exchange of gifts, including chocolates, flowers, watches, clothing, jewellery and other small items.
Did you know?
The pronunciation of ‘520’ is homophonic to ‘I love you’ in Chinese. The date of the 20th of May (520) is pronounced as (wǔ èr líng), which sounds very similar to 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ), meaning I love you. That’s why in China, May 20th has become another unofficial Valentine’s Day. For more information on these Valentine’s celebrations and further marketing opportunities throughout the year in the Chinese market, check out our Chinese marketing calendar.
Forget flowers and chocolates, in the Philippines, Valentine’s Day has a different focus. Throughout Valentine’s week, thousands of Filipinos celebrate the season of love by getting married! Many, if not most, of these weddings, are ‘mass weddings’, and involve hundreds of couples making their vows at the same time in the same place. In many towns and cities, such as Rosario, these ‘mass marriages’ are a way to help unwed couples get married, without the burden of costs. The local government provides venues, food, gifts, photos and other amenities including marriage licences, making getting married completely free!
Did you know?
In 2017, Jollibee, the Filipino multinational chain of fast-food restaurants, stole consumers hearts when they released a trio of #KwentongJollibee videos for its Valentine’s campaign, which quickly surpassed five million views! 2022 marked the sixth year of these short films, with 36 videos released since its conception in 2017. The campaigns are loved by all and still highly anticipated each year, with 2017’s trio recognised as one of the most viral Valentine’s campaigns to arise from this market.
Valentine’s Day, or Dia dos Namorados, as it’s known in Brazil, is celebrated on June 12th because of its proximity to Saint Anthony’s Day on June 13th. It’s a day to celebrate relationships and love. Saint Anthony is very well-known in Brazil, as locals believe he blesses young couples with prosperous marriages. During this occasion, young couples typically exchange gifts, flowers and chocolates.
The traditional Valentine’s Day is not celebrated in Brazil as it commonly falls during Carnival Week, which is one of the biggest events in the country. That makes Brazil a common target for singles across the globe who want to get away from Valentine’s Day. It’s common for many marketing strategies to focus on this event. In fact, during Carnival season, many local and independent cafes, hotels and brands somewhat rely on influencer marketing to boost their revenue through paid-for advertising on platforms such as Instagram.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To find out more about Croud, our Croudie Network or the markets we work in, contact us.
About the Croudie Network
Croud’s network of on-demand digital experts provides a first-rate service, in real-time and across the globe. Croud’s access to over 118 markets and 86 different languages means that your account always receives a relevant and localised service. We connect our globally-recognised clients and our talented Croudies through our own proprietary technology, Croud Control.