Traditions to show love this year from around the world

A welsh love spoon is an intricate and beautiful way to show your love to someone -- and you can even buy them online now, though putting the effort in is part of the fun!

A welsh love spoon is an intricate and beautiful way to show your love to someone -- and you can even buy them online now, though putting the effort in is part of the fun!

Aemili Lipzinski, Pulse Editor

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Love is in the air at Michigan Tech with Stuff-a-Husky bringing loads of students out of their dorms to the MUB to make a snuggly stuffed friend for themselves or a loved one. This sweet tradition is actually only in its sixth year, but it has quickly become a Tech favorite, routinely selling out of their first-come, first-served stocks within 20 minutes of the event beginning.

This tradition is pretty unique to Tech with much of the rest of America enjoying fancy dinners, exchanging chocolates, flowers and jewelry and passing love notes and cards — either storebought or homemade. Other cultures tend to have less expensive ways of celebrating, though just as –if not more– genuine in feeling.

In Japan, girls are expected to gift chocolate to their loved ones, friends and colleagues. The chocolate’s quality has different meanings and the lucky recipients of the highest quality chocolate, usually boyfriends or husbands, are expected to return the favor by purchasing presents worth two or three times the value of the chocolates for White Day, a holiday that takes place a month later on March 14.

In South Korea, they celebrate much the same but have included a third day on April 14 to celebrate or mourn being single if Feb. 14 and March 14 leave one giftless.

Welsh “Valentine’s Day” is actually celebrated on Jan. 25, the feast day of St. Dwynwen who is the Welsh patron saint of true love. Instead of chocolates or flowers, the Welsh exchange intricately carved wooden spoons, commonly called “love spoons” on that day in January. This tradition dates back to when sailors would hand carve gifts for their loved ones while they were out at sea to bring back with them.

In the Philippines, the government offers mass weddings on Feb. 14 so that couples who may not have the financial means otherwise are also able to get married. It might not be completely romantic to get married alongside a ton of other people, but it is beautiful that everyone can have the chance to say “I do” no matter their financial situation.

In Norway, secret admirers write love poems to their beloveds, notes called “joke letters” or “snowdrop letters” because instead of writing anonymous or nothing at the bottom, the poets sign off with a dot for each letter of their name. The letters are then intricately cut with designs on the edges and usually, a cut sprig of a snowdrop flower is also placed inside. The receiver then has to guess who their admirer is. If they guess correctly, they get to receive an Easter egg from their admirer on Easter, but if they guess incorrectly then they are the one who has to give the egg to their admirer.

In comparison to these beautiful and heartfelt traditions from around the world, standard old storebought chocolate sort of leave something to be desired. Hopefully, this compilation of interesting Valentine’s traditions has your creative gears turning and has inspired you to add a little personal touch to your gifts this year. I know that I’ll be making some changes to my original plan! If you’re anything like me you can’t celebrate in the middle of the week anyway — and let’s be real, Valentine’s Day dinner on a Thursday while you’re in college? That’s asking a bit much.
If you’ve already bought and done everything, then I hope at the very least this was an entertaining thing to read and maybe sparked an idea for next year! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!