Euro Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so instead of the list of ideas about romantic getaways across the continent, how about instead a list of Valentine’s day traditions across Europe? Perhaps one of these will inspire a new travel destination for you in 2009. Here we go:

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Slovenia

They say that in Slovenia this is the day when work in the fields and vineyards starts. It is also rumored that birds propose or marry on this day. The actual ‘Valentine’s Day’ in the romantic sense is the 12th of March.

Romania

Romania is another country where Valentine’s Day is not actually on the 14th; here ‘Dragobete’ is celebrated on the 24th of Februrary. Tradition has it that if you step on your partner’s foot, you’ll have the dominating role in the relationship.

Norway

Norwegians celebrate ‘Valentinsdagen’ by sending a card to a secret love or doing something romantic for their partner.

France

The French are busy in February working on their ‘cartes d’amities’, which are special cards for your valentine. They are often quite elegant and fancy, and now days of course accompanied by fine wines and other gifts.

Scotland

Being based in Scotland, you’d think I would be ‘in the know’ on the Scottish valentine-related celebrations. But I’ve been carefully informed by this article on Associated Content that tells us:

In Scotland there is a party. Single men and women attend the party. At the party everyone writes their name on a piece of paper and then men put their names in one hat and women put their names in another. Everyone then draws names from the opposite hat. Many times this results in each person having two partners drawn. The tradition is that if your name is drawn by two people, the male should respect the female that drew his name from the hat and be partnered with them for the party. It is possible for both people to draw each other’s names, making that a strong partnering according to the tradition.

Denmark

Danes, true to their friendly and open culture, exchange valentines cards that are funny! The fun doesn’t stop there – the cards are signed with a “gaekkebrev”, or a coded signature. If you can decipher the code and guess who sent you the card, you get a chocolate egg for Easter.

What’s the Tradition where you’re from? Do you have a Euro-Valentine story to tell?
Image Credit – kozumel