Mid-February is upon us, and that means it’s time for Cupid to come out of hibernation to induce America (and much of the rest of the world) into a love-fueled frenzy for everyone’s favorite excuse to rock red, Valentine’s Day. As commercialized as it may be, you have to admit that there’s at least a small part of you that gets excited about having a reason to express your love, and that goes for whether you’re in a relationship or not. Couples have the opportunity to rekindle (or simply stoke) their desire for each other (scarlet lingerie and rose petal-covered bed, perhaps?), while hopeful singles have the perfect excuse to grow courageous and confess feelings of fondness to their crushes.
Depending on where you reside, there are numerous traditions that you might get swept up in on this love-and-lust-laced day. If you live in Japan or Korea and are male, you’re set up like a boss, receiving endowments of chocolate from the ladies in your life, without having to do a thing. That is, until exactly one month later on March 14’s “White Day,” a holiday that calls for the men to return the favor to the women who gifted them on Valentine’s Day, but with a present that is two― to three-times greater in value than what they were given. Not a bad deal for the ladies!
If you live in Sweden, you’ll be celebrating what translates to “All Hearts Day,” which is similar to America and England’s versions of the holiday. Jelly hearts are especially popular, equivalent to the pastel, heart-shaped candies adorned with messages like “Be True” and “Marry Me” that we find across the U.S., or the enormous ginger cookies iced with raunchy messages that you find in sexually liberal Bavaria.
Bawdy baked goods or not, however you choose to celebrate this winter love-fest, just make sure not to hold anything back when it comes to expressing your appreciation for the important people in your life. After all, if Valentine’s Day isn’t the right time, then when is?
On that note, let’s learn how people do Valentine’s Day in different parts of the world by click through our slideshow!