Valentines’ Day Celebrations Around the World


    Valentine’s Day in America and other countries around the world is a special day. It is an important day in the U.S., but we wanted to know how it is celebrated in other countries.
    Forty students from 18 different countries in ESOL classes recently responded to a survey about Valentine’s Day. For most of them, Valentine’s Day in their countries was similar to the U.S. But in some countries they have a different time and a different way of celebrating.
    According to the survey results, giving chocolates, gifts, cards, roses or going out with your “sweet heart” is the best-known way of celebrating it.
    But in some countries like Vietnam, there is a different way to celebrate it, besides the ones already known. Couples wear the same style and/or color of clothes.
    Japan has its own interesting way, too. For them, there are two Valentine’s Days. On February 14th, girls give dark chocolate to the boys they like. On March 14th, boys give cookies or white chocolate to the girls they like.
    In other countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and India, not everyone is allowed to celebrate this day. People from college are totally free to celebrate the way they want. But in high schools, students aren’t normally allowed to celebrate the day of love. But some look for a way of giving notes to their lovers, even though is not allowed. If the students get caught, they get a warning and their parents get to know about their romance.
    According to the students who responded to the survey, in some parts of the Dominican Republic and El Salvador friends and family play games.
    The game played in the Dominican Republic is called “Angelito”. Dominicans rip pieces of paper and write the name of another person, either girl or boy. Then each player gives his/her “angelito” a present.
    In El Salvador it is the same way of playing but with a different name. The Salvadorian game is called “Amigo Secreto” (secret friend).
    In Spain only people in love get and give presents. Friends or family don’t exchange notes or presents.
    Even though many countries have a special day for lovers, in some countries they don’t celebrate the holiday.
    Based on the survey, most Ethiopian and Chinese people don’t know what Valentine’s Day is until they come to the U.S. and see it being celebrated here.
    Most people who didn’t know about this day, like if after seeing it or even celebrate it for the first time. “I can get gifts from other people,” Xioawen Hu from China said.
    Mr. Wang is an ESOL teacher whose family is from China. He likes Valentine’s Day even if isn’t something that his family celebrates. “I liked the idea of going out with a girl, if she was interesting, but I didn’t know why it was important to give candy or flowers,” Mr. Wang said.
    But since Valentine’s Day is mostly a day for lovers, it can be a sad day for some people. “I like Valentine’s Day when I have a boyfriend,” senior Josephine Camara said.
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