Munich, February 10th, 2016 - Valentine’s day is right around the corner; a day which is mainly associated with romance and love. However, in many countries, Valentine’s Day is actually not about proving your love to your romantic partner but rather celebrating family and friends. CUPONATION has looked into its active markets around the globe and compiled all the facts you need to know about the most famous love celebration of the year.
What’s the story of Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day comes from both Christian and Roman traditions and originally has a stronger religious meaning than what we usually give to it. According to the legend, Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century. To go against a decision of the Emperor Claudius II to outlaw marriage for young men in order to send them to war, he decided to continue performing marriages for young people in secret. When the authorities found out, he was sentenced to death.
Since ancient times, the month of February has always been associated with fertility. In Rome, February 15th was even celebrated in honor of Lupercus, the god of fertility. In Greece, this month was dedicated to the union of Zeus and Hera. The Catholic Church made the 14th of February the official date of Valentine’s Day in 495 AD, although this is not universal. Indeed, in Brazil, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in June, along with Carnival, since it is winter there at that time. Nowadays, Valentine’s Day has become a widespread celebration in many countries around the world but each has their own way of celebrating it.
How is Valentine’s Day celebrated from Oslo to New Delhi?
Did you know that on Valentine’s Day, about 180 million cards are sent around the world? This fact makes it the second most popular event of the year after Christmas.
In most countries, Valentine’s Day remains a celebration of love and a romantic opportunity to spend time with your partner. This is the case for most Europe and Northern America. In France, this event is quite popular: 60% of the French people celebrate it according to a research done by Biba magazine. The same goes for Spain, Mexico, Italy and even Singapore, where this tradition has been getting stronger over the past years. In Germany, where Valentine’s Day officially arrived after WWII with the American soldiers, Valentine’s Day still has a religious dimension as some Catholic churches offer services with blessings for couples after the sermon.
In India, Valentine’s Day has started to become popular in the larger cities. But the trend is different among most rural areas. In these areas people don’t share a positive view on it because they consider it to be a Western tradition. Similar to that is the situation in Russia where Valentine’s day is mostly celebrated in urban areas and has even lost some popularity in the recent years. However, the tradition is so strong that in some schools or organizations you can find boxes where anyone can drop a "valentinka:" a letter for her/his secret lover.
In Australia, this day is especially about celebrating love, but with a broader understanding: it is typically a day on which people celebrate their love. In most cases this implies a romantic relationship, however showing family and friends that you love them is also very common; and this is a trend that has been growing and spreading over the years.
The Nordics Valentine’s: a friendship celebration?
The Nordics are a good illustration when it comes to valuing friendships. Valentine’s Day is becoming popular there only over the last few years and is mainly considered as a friendship celebration. In Denmark, Valentine’s Day is only slowly picking up but has been celebrated for some years. In Norway, this day still connotes romantic love and couples usually go out for dinner.
In Finland and Sweden, the story is not the same. Indeed, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of… friendship! In Finland, the meaning of Valentine's Day is indeed "Friend's day". And Sweden is also slowly picking it up: for the past 3 years, it has become more common to buy gifts for friends, nice neighbors or for someone who has helped you. So, whether in a relationship or not, it is highly likely that you will still receive something.
What are Valentine’s best-sellers?
In contradiction with some preconceived notions, the popularity of Valentine’s Day is not decreasing. A study conducted by the savings portal CUPONATION across 17 countries worldwide shows a significant increase in the past years of more than 500% in online spending for flowers and gifts in the week of Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, florists sell as much as they normally would in one week. In 2014 a Lufthansa cargo even transported 1,000 tons of roses to Germany, which weighed around the same as 1,000 cars. Besides flowers, photography related products have also gained a lot of popularity, especially since 2015. Travels and holidays also tend to increase in this period of time, a little romantic get-away being one of the favorite presents for Valentine’s Day. Most original gifts include erotic articles, lingerie and socks for men.
Want to be even more original and find the perfect gift for your loved one? Check out cuponation.com.au
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