Courtship, Wedding and Valentine’s Day Traditions Worldwide
Every February 14th, many celebrate St Valentine’s Day, commemorating romantic love and a celebration day which originated in the High Middle Ages, when the age of courtly love flourished. Courtship and wedding traditions worldwide are both fascinating and diverse. Read on to learn about how some of the countries we visit in 2015 have pioneered their own unique ways to say “I love you”.
Even more amusing is the French tradition on Valentine’s Day where long ago, single men and women participated in a “loterie d’amour”. Each of the sexes would pile into houses across the street from one another and yell out the name of a member of the opposite sex they admired. After couples paired off, all the women who were not chosen by anyone joined together and built a ceremonial fire into which they threw images and objects of the men who had rejected them, cursing and swearing at them loudly. Apparently, these events got so out-of-hand, the French government eventually banned the practice!
The “magic hanky” is a great Irish wedding tradition which we think might be something worth emulating at your next wedding. Irish brides don a hanky as part of their wedding garb which is then turned into a christening bonnet for their first-born. After the baby’s christening, the bonnet is then saved to be turned back into a hanky for the child’s wedding day. How cool!
In Slovenia, St Valentine or “Zdravko” is the patron saint of Spring and St Valentine’s Day is celebrated with the first day of working in the fields. An old Slovene proverb is “St Valentine brings the keys of roots” and Slovenians believe wild birds pick their mates on this day. But why celebrate love just one day per year? Well the Slovenians don’t! They also celebrate on February 22nd (St Vincent’s Day), March 12th (St Gregory’s Day) and on June 13th (St Anthony’s Day). Well done Slovenia!
What Valentines traditions have you made with those in your life? Tell us on Facebook!