It must be true! The magic, while unseen, appears as stardust, sprinkling invisible mist over the bodies of humans. Look at the children, who should be wild, anxious to leave their enclosed winter homes, have heart-shaped kindness in their eyes. Adults, too, are in a state of wonder thinking of original ideas to express their love. Has cupid arrived just in time to fill an entire world with thoughts of giving?
The ideas of this season may need a new approach. Let us look beyond our continent to discover how the rest of the world celebrates February and love!
The holiday spans an entire week, usually in August, referring to the festival of love, “Sweetness Week.” Lovers exchange candy for kisses and include a day to dedicate to friends by the week’s end.
Idea: Do not limit the holiday to just one day; celebrate a little all week or month-long?
Move over St. Valentine; the Bulgarians celebrate the patron saint of vine growing and winemaking. Traditionally, February 1st is a day of hospitality, delicious foods, wine, music and a gathering of friends.
Idea: Similar to the Bulgarians, enjoy the day in good company and spirit!
The tradition of Valentine’s Day began through a folktale about a cow-herder and the King’s daughter. As the story goes, the two, once discovered, are only allowed to reunite one day a year; therefore, couples pray for prosperity. At night, they look for the constellations Vega and Altair, which represent the cowherd and the King’s daughter, clearly visible in the sky.
Idea: China has six Valentine’s Day celebrations. Consider expanding your direct intentions with a promise to include monthly or bimonthly date nights.
Rather than a gift of roses, the snowdrop is a popular choice for Valentine’s Day. Danish women may receive a handmade card from a loved one or friend containing a humorous poem signed in an arrangement of dots. If guesses remain unknown by Easter, she’ll receive a gift from him.
Idea: Surprise your special someone by leaving small gifts or notes!
A new holiday to the Estonian people, they view Valentine’s Day as an embrace of family, friends and children. Gifts and cards acknowledge love and friendship in a way to celebrate togetherness!
Idea: This year’s holiday is on a Friday. It offers an opportunity to gather the important people in your life for a festive, musical and spirited evening!
While France is not a country that celebrates one day of love, they have a unique tradition dating back to the 15th century. Identifying a love interest, the yard and home transitions to a place of romance. The belief that trees have symbolic powers is part of the decoration. Whether a “tree of vows” is chosen and planted, or notes pinned to the trunk, the idea suggests the tree will flourish to commemorate a lasting relationship.
Idea: Great thoughts can arrive from using a tree. Think bonsai!
Did you know pigs are a symbol of luck and passion? Pig figurines and chocolates are popular gifts.
Idea: Other animals represent good fortune. How about taking the gesture one step further and adopt another symbol of luck, such as a cat, rabbit, frog or goldfish?
Another flower to consider is the Peruvian choice – an orchid.
Bring back a tradition to your home if you have Welsh ancestry and provide your spouse with a wooden spoon. Since the 16th century, handcrafted spoons indicated the symbolism of love.
This year, allow a cultural idea to spark a new tradition in a day and month of celebrating friendship and love. Just wait! You’ll be struck soon!