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Sweet Valentine's Celebrations Around the World

Sweet Valentine's Celebrations Around the World


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February has crept up on us, and so has that love-fueled frenzy to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Roses are the most popular gift for adults, and children are encouraged to bring cards to school to exchange with their classmates.

Sweet Valentine's Celebrations Around the World (Slideshow)

In the same way cultures around the world have traditions come the holidays, like Christmas or New Year’s, or time-honored birthday traditions, they also observe Valentine’s Day in accordance with their cultural traditions.

If you live in Japan or Korea and are male, for instance, February 14 is your lucky day, and you’ll be receiving copious amounts of chocolate from that special lady in your life without having to give anything in return (until a month later, that is, but we’ll get to that).

Head over to Sweden, you’ll be warming up on “All Hearts Day” with gifts of jelly hearts, the local equivalent to the pastel heart-shaped candies adorned with messages like “Be True” and “Marry Me” that we find across the U.S.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, 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.

Additional reporting by Erik Mathes.

Brazil

Brazilians don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14; instead, they celebrate the Dia dos Namorados, or Day of the Enamored, on June 12. Brazilians trade chocolates, flowers, and cards, similarly to how we celebrate February 14 in the States; however, there are also parades, celebrations, and festivities across the country to honor the day.

Denmark

Denmark’s Valentine’s Day traditions started to blossom in the 1990s. In Denmark, couples often give each other hearts made from flowers, chocolate, pasta, or cake. Additionally, Danish men give anonymous “joking cards” that contain funny poems to women. If the recipient correctly guesses who sent her the poem, then she wins an Easter egg on Easter.


10 Christmas Sweets from around the World

Gumdrops, candy canes, figgy pudding and sugar plums are just a few of the delicious sweets that come to mind when thinking about the Christmas season. Christmas stories and carols are sprinkled with references to the sweeter side of the traditional Christmas meal. Even Santa Claus himself has been known to enjoy a Christmas cookie from time to time. Below is a list of 10 traditional sweets enjoyed at Christmas in different countries around the world.


"Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays," Martha once remarked in the February 2007 of Living. "It's romantic, cute, and pink, and everything associated with it evokes love and passion and all things pretty and lacy for me." As a child, she said she would labor over elaborate doily cards with silly messages ("Be mine," "Heartthrob," or "Kisses"), which she would then deliver by hand, decorate valentine card boxes at school, and share cookies, candies, and hand-knit scarves as handmade gifts.

Today, Martha's recollection is one of many such famous quips, messages, and sayings about the holiday of love. Celebrations around the country still involve plenty of sweet treats, tokens of affection, and gift-giving&mdashinspiring the romantic in all of us. Indeed, the entire month of February promises a celebration of love and togetherness with the hope of spring's renewal just around the corner. It's a time to reflect on those we love, and on why we love them&mdashwith the opportunity to show them that we value their presence in our lives. And Valentine's Day is a keen reminder to do just that.

While it's customary to give flowers and chocolate, you and your loved ones can make the holiday as personalized as your relationships together. What does Valentine's Day mean to you and the love of your life? Bake a batch of sweet cookies or candy, tuck painted wooden hearts into unsuspecting pockets and lunch boxes as a small token, or enjoy a quiet romantic dinner for two as a date for bonding with your significant other.

Words of love, like the ones in these quotes, make perfect statements that you can include in your Valentine's Day cards.


20+ Valentine's Day Drinks to Sip With Your Sweetheart

Raise a glass to love (and these delicious cocktail recipes)!

Every holiday comes with its own set of treats &mdash be it festive sweets, elaborate dinners, or themed drinks. Some special occasions, however, feature all of the above, like Valentine's Day. The most romantic night of the year is known for its chocolate-centric treats, elegant various-course meals (if you're going all out), and, of course, a delicious Valentine's Day drink. These Valentine's Day cocktails will make put the perfect finishing touch on your über romantic plans for Feb. 14 (and are just as great solo, if you plan on boycotting the holiday altogether). Sure, you can just pop a bottle of Champagne and call it a night, but why not add a hint of pink or red to your libations and make Valentine's Day even more festive? (Or you can really switch things up and transform your valentine's favorite dessert into a cocktail.)

There's bound to be at least one cocktail recipe on this list that everyone will love. Whether you and your valentine prefer alcoholic to non-alcoholic drinks, or something sweet over something tart, you're bound to find a Valentine's Day cocktail that you'll want to drink all year long. No matter how you're planning on celebrating the day of love, if at all, a themed cocktail can set Valentine's Day apart from every other day of the year. And with their gorgeous presentations, these Valentine's Day drinks will dress up the V-Day dinner table to the nines.

Combine mint, cinnamon, lemon juice, and apple brandy to make this aesthetically pleasing and incredibly tasty cocktail.

Put a more unique spin on your go-to cranberry cocktail with this spiced, holiday-friendly whiskey drink.

Make this versatile drink with or without alcohol, hot or cold. No matter what you and your valentine are craving, this drink will hit the spot.

Marry your favorite sweet combination with this Tiffany Blue cocktail &mdash a gorgeous addition to any Valentine's Day table.

Turn your Valentine's Day into a hot summer evening on the beach, a book in one hand and a fruity cocktail in the other, with this recipe. All you need are strawberries, basil, lemon juice, and some bourbon.

Sweets are a big part of Valentine's Day, so why not liquify your go-to dessert with this to-die-for cocktail? It's the perfect beverage for a cold night in.

To keep things light and refreshing this Valentine's Day, cheers to love with this pinky-red honey-lime iced tea.

Add an elegant touch to your Valentine's Day with this fruity pomegranate royale.

Sangria isn't just for the summer! This winter sangria is perfectly spiced (and perfectly red) for the most romantic day of the year.

The perfect drink for the whole family to enjoy. Your kids will love getting to have one of these sweet red slushies that only require three ingredients.

Take the classic cosmo and add a little pomegranate to make it the perfect Valentine's Day cocktail. These are great to make if you're spending the night with a few of your closest girlfriends.

Step up your Valentine's Day breakfast in bed with one of these orange-cranberry mimosas.

If you want to go all out for your Valentine's Day drink, make this sugar plum dreams cocktail and coat the glass with pink and red rimming sugar.

This fruity drink is both tart and sweet, and is the perfect Valentine's Day treat for all ages.

If you're looking for a strong, yet subtle, cocktail to enjoy this Valentine's Day, you've found it. Packed with two bottles of wine, a cup of orange-flavored vodka, strawberries, and grapes, you won't want to put it down.

Go for a smoky taste this Feb. 14 with this mezcal and blood orange cocktail (with a hint of Chili powder). This drink is bound to become your new go-to drink all year long.

This festive drink will make your night feel super fancy, while requiring very minimal effort or time. So, grab your St. Germain, ginger syrup, and Champagne. You won't regret it.

A few strategically cut strawberries takes this mimosa to higher loved-filled levels.

Everyone wants chocolate on Valentine's Day. So who says you can't drink it, too?

The fresh mint in this pink drink, combined with delicious blackberries, makes for a tasty cocktail you won't want to put down.

Made with lemon-blueberry syrup, these mimosas are sure to be almost as sweet as your valentine.

You can have your dessert and drink it too with these sinfully delicious strawberry shortcake mimosas.

These ruby red mimosas are a necessity at your next Valentine's Day celebration.

Everyone's favorite pink candy is the key ingredient in these perfectly sweet cosmos.

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16 Valentine’s Day Traditions From Around The World

Jessica Smith
Community member

A long time ago Valentine's Day used to be a Christian celebration, that was started as early as 496 AD to commemorate a martyr, later declared a saint called, you guessed it, Valentinus. How exactly this love day came to be as we know it today is not exactly clear, but we don't really care about the hows and whys and are happy to munch on heart-shaped chocolates on February the 14th each year.

Since this is a reasonably old celebration that has spread all over the world, each of the countries celebrating it has adapted the concept according to their cultures and mentality. If most of us associate Valentine's Day traditions with roses, chocolates and love letters, then in Wales, it's all about intricately carved wooden spoons and pampering your husbands in Japan. Not only traditions vary though, but the dates also. If we are accustomed to February the 14th, then other countries have their own idea on when should the love day be celebrated.

Scroll down below to check more of the weird traditions and Valentine's day facts from all over the world. Illustrated by a talented artist Maria Muravski, the trivia is not only interesting but also beautiful.


Around the World in Holiday Sweets

This year, break out beyond the U.S. borders for your holiday dessert inspiration.

This year, break out beyond the U.S. borders for your holiday dessert inspiration. From fluffy pancake-light treats to rich, chocolate-filled roulades, these desserts will put the festive spirit in the season in a delightfully foreign way. Adopt them into your family's routine or trace your roots back to some traditional treats.

Wash these sweet treats down with a warming drink or these winter cocktails.

These light and sweet treats are easily recognized by their characteristic shape and texture &mdash they're solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover. Be careful, this combination makes it easier to down several in one sitting. They're typically served with glogg (mulled wine) during the Christmas season, a tradition you might find delicious to adopt into your own holiday celebrations.

Hint: If you want to make them at home, you'll need a special pan.

This pastry is ubiquitous with Christmas season in Hungary and traditionally comes with one of two decadent fillings &mdash sweet, dense poppy seed paste or hearty minced walnuts. Like the chocolate chip cookie, you can walk into any bakery to pick up a roll in wintertime, but every family has their traditional take on the holiday dessert. If you're up for the challenge, try several versions and find your favorite.

Hint: Inventive Hungarians have been experimenting with new fillings like Chestnut puree and thick Nutella, so don't feel bound to tradition.

If you're short on patience, you should find a store that carries packaged versions of this Swedish spice cookie. The dough is rolled until transparent to yield buttery thin cookies that will snap at the tap of a knuckle. If you manage to snap your cookie into a perfect three pieces you get a wish, but only if you eat the cookie without saying a word.

Hint: The heart-shaped cookies are the easiest to break into thirds. Bon chance!

In Eastern Orthodox countries like Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, Christmas season is a time of devout piety and lenten eating (their Christmas also falls in January). The Christmas dinner is the last lenten meal of the season and features 12 dishes, including this sweet grain pudding. Decadent ingredients like sugar and butter are verboten, so this mixture of wheat berries, poppy seeds, and walnuts gets it sweetness from a generous drizzle of honey.

Fun Fact: Traditionally this dish is eaten first at the Christmas supper, so don't feel bad about digging into dessert first this year.

Don't mistake these Greek sweets for run-of-the-mill cookies between their sticky-sweet honey glaze and dusting of walnut pieces, these treats will have you licking your fingers like no cookie you've ever eaten before. An oil base means their texture are closer to cake than cookie and they're flavored with bright, seasonal splashes of orange and brandy.

Hint: A cinnamon stick and a couple whole cloves thrown into the finishing syrup brings home the holidays in this recipe.

This francophone version of Christmas cake looks, as its name suggests, remarkably like a log. In fact, they're decorated that way with special techniques to make the icing look like bark, sugar look like a dusting of snow, and the entire scene look like a log taken from the forest. Some of them are astonishingly beautiful, ornate creations &mdash but that shouldn't stop you from digging in. The classic combination of yellow cake with decadent chocolate buttercream filling tastes just as good as the cake looks.

Hint: If you're making it at home, be patient with the cake as you roll cracks are inevitable, but icing covers everything.

Spend the holiday season in Colombia and you'll get more than your fair share of this sweet custard dessert. In the spirit of the season of giving, natilla is made by families throughout the country to be enjoyed at home and with friends and neighbors so everyone ends up thoroughly satisfying their sweet tooth.

Hint: Latin groceries sell ready-made natilla mix to speed up the process.

Soft, fluffy, and rich with seasonal flavor, these Germanic gingerbreads are synonymous with the holiday season. Unlike our gingerbread, they're usually glazed or covered in chocolate &mdash a tradition we all might find quite easy to adopt. They also come in a harder version called lebkuchen hearts, which are inscribed with icing.

Fun Fact: The closest thing Germany has to the gingerbread man is the Honigkuchenpferd, a honey cake horse.

Beautiful, flaky, and filled with molten prune jam, the holidays simply aren't complete in the Nordic north without these pinwheel-shaped cookies. An airy dusting of powdered sugar completes the seasonal feel of these sweets that are best consumed piping hot.

Hint: If you're planning on making them at home, find a good diagram online so the folding doesn't get too confusing.

Although you'll usually find this sweet bread gracing tables throughout Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria during Easter, it's prepared for most major holidays in Romania. Although the dough is the same all over the country, versions vary widely among regions. The bread can be filled, studded with bright lemon zest, topped with poppy seeds, or spiked with vanilla or rum flavor. All variations sound equally delicious.

Hint: It's not unheard of to spike the filling with rum, so doubling up on the dough and filling is perfectly acceptable.

Christmas puddings are common throughout a lot of northern European countries, but they take on a special twist in countries like Sweden and Iceland. This rice pudding has a whole almond hidden somewhere. The lucky supper guest who eats the almond is said to have good luck in the upcoming year.

Hint: Even if rice pudding isn't your thing, adopt the almond tradition for a sweet and sentimental touch in this year's celebration.

Traditional fruit cake wishes it could be like Chile's spiced pan de pascua. Candied fruits are scattered throughout the sponge cake-like batter, along with walnuts, raisins, and ginger, for a toothsome cake that captures the warm flavors of the season. Originally introduced by German immigrants, this cake has been absorbed into the Chilean tradition.

Hint: This cake falls somewhere between the German stollen and the Italian panettone, so you can doctor either of these recipes with extra ingredients for a Chilean-fusion in your Christmas cake.

If you're in the market for a sweet and seasonal breakfast or dessert, take a note from the Belgians. Their sweet Christmas bread, shaped like a baby Jesus, is studded with raisins and traditionally paired with a mug of hot chocolate.

Hint: If you're having an afternoon holiday party, serving hot chocolate and delicious bread is a great way to warm up your guests as they come in from the cold.

You'll find these sweets at many Latin American Christmas celebrations. They come with a variety of sweet and savory fillings as well as glazes, but in the Dominican Republic they're syrupy sweet. Flavored with anise, fried, and covered in a cinnamon sugar syrup, they get an exotic touch from coconut water used in place of water in the finishing glaze.

Fun Fact: In nearby countries they're covered in honey or caramel, so pick your favorite and dip away!


Valentine's Week 2021: Try out these drinks this V-day

The coronavirus pandemic turned all our world's upside down, and 2020 forced us into our homes, away from our loved ones, many of us struggling to get basic necessities. Which is why the shining new year, 2021, has filled us all with hope and we are all hoping to make the most of this year, especially with life returning to normalcy. Talking about celebrations, right around the corner is Valentine's Day, and whether you're celebrating with a loved one or have decided to indulge in some self love and spend the day by yourself, we have the perfect beverage and cocktail recipes for you to wake up with and go to bed because of, respectively. Read on to put and interesting spin to your Valentine's Day 2021:

Sangria: Sangria is the perfect alcoholic beverage to enjoy during the day, preferably during lunch. The fruity, sweet wine punch comes from Spain and is made with seasonal fruit, sweetener, a good splash of wine brandy, and possibly something fizzy added in like soda. But one can always customise with one's own preferences and add herbs like basil, mint among other additions. However, some of the usual suspects found in a traditional Spanish sangria are:

Ingredients:

Fruit (like apples and oranges)

A sweetener (like brown sugar or cane sugar)

A liquor (like brandy or rum)

Bold, fruity, dry Spanish red wine (like Tempranillo, Garnacha, or other Rioja wine)

2 basil or large mint leaves

In a rocks glass, muddle lemon juice, berries, sugar cubes and basil. Add liquors, stir. Add ice and top up with club soda. Gently stir to cool and combine. Garnish with more basil or mint leaves.

(Recipe by Minimalist Baker)

Superfood Lattes: Perfect pink, yellow and green superfood fuelled lattes are perfect to pick you up. ⠀


St. Joseph’s Altar At Home

If you’re thinking that you have no idea of how to go about making a St. Joseph’s Altar at your home, then you need to check out my post on St. Joseph Altar for Beginners, because that was soooo me last year! But I put everything you need to know in one easy-to-bite-off blog post. (And no, you don’t need a super fancy St. Joseph statue- I link to a printable version!)

If you’re looking for ideas of different foods and things to place on your St. Joseph Altar, check out last year’s post about St. Joseph Altar ideas, including one of my favorite (and very easy projects) where you carve symbolic fig newtons!


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Heat a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the pancake batter on the pan and cook until the bottom side is browned for about two minutes. Flip and cook for another one minute.

Cranberry Sauce

2 cups (500 mL) cranberries

1 cup (250 mL) orange juice

Put together the sugar and orange juice in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar is all dissolved. Add in the cranberries into the saucepan and cook on medium heat until most of the cranberries are softened. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl to cool down before storing in containers.

Dry Spice Mix (for fried chicken batter)

1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika powder

1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic powder

1/2 tsp (2 1/2 mL) cayenne pepper powder

1/2 tsp (2 1/2 mL) black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside and make sure to keep them dry.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

2 lbs (32 oz) chicken thigh

2 tbsp (30 mL) dry spice mix (from the recipe above)

2 tbsp (30 mL) pickle juice

2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, salt, sugar and pickle juice together and mix well until all the ingredients are combined.

Coat the chicken thigh with the dry spice mix until they are uniformly coated. In a container, cover the chicken thigh with the buttermilk mix, seal and marinade for at least two hours up to eight hours in the fridge. After marinating, drain the chicken thigh, keep the buttermilk mixture.


8. Italy

A romantic dinner is one way to celebrate Valentine's Day in Italy.

Originally, Italians celebrated Valentine's Day as the Spring Festival. The young and amorous gathered outside in gardens and such to enjoy poetry readings and music before taking a stroll with their beloved.

Another Italian Valentine's Day tradition was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. The belief was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine's Day was the man she would marry within a year. Or he'd at least strongly resemble the man she would marry.

Today, Italians celebrate Valentine's Day with gift exchanges between lovers and romantic dinners. One of the most popular Valentine's Day gifts in Italy is Baci Perugina, which are small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts wrapped with a romantic quote printed in four languages.


8 Valentine's Day Traditions That Should Never Have Gone Out of Style

While Valentine's Day has largely become a consumer-driven holiday (according to the National Retail Federation, Americans planned to spend an average $196.31 each&mdashor $27.4 billion total&mdashon gifts and celebrations for the holiday in 2020) it's also true that many people are perfectly happy with inexpensive Valentine's Day gestures, like a special meal, thoughtful card or homemade gift, a romantic movie night at home, or even a sweet shoutout on social media. "I'm not surprised that Valentine's Day has become a holiday in which people say, 'I don't need to spend money,'" Candace Corlett, the president of WSL Strategic Retail told the New York Post. "There's a mindset now that says, 'Let's celebrate our time together.'" You can even get kids involved by having them create Valentine's Day crafts.

With this sentimental (and cost-effective) outlook in mind, here are seven bygone Valentine's Day traditions that we'd like to see make a comeback. From handmade gifts to fun traditions, they're all things you can do for free (or practically free), which will help put the emphasis on making memories with your spouse or partner, friends, and family members.

Before the days of buying cards in bulk, people of all ages used to design and create unique cards from scratch. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, lovers spent considerable effort creating something beautiful (you can thank Shakespeare and Chaucer for adding romance to the holiday). Your skill set doesn't really matter here&mdashit's the thought and effort you put into a DIY card that does.

Long before Hallmark and the mass-produced greeting card industry existed, people used to send one another Valentines that were customized with personal messages. In fact, handwritten holiday cards were the norm until 1847, according to The Huffington Post. Though pre-written cards are more convenient, there's nothing quite like a one-of-a-kind love letter from your sweetheart.

If you really want to go all out with a handmade of expression of your love, take a cue from the Victorians and make a "puzzle purse." These gifts were a series of love letters that were meant to be read separately, but also fit together to create a beautiful design and message, according to Bustle. Use the Valentine puzzle purse tutorial from VictorianTreasury.com to make one at home this year.

Rather than dropping a ton of money on a fancy dinner for two, couples used to attend Valentine's Day dinner, cocktails, and dance parties in private homes across the U.S. This more affordable celebration is also a great way to spend the day with all the loves in your life, including friends and family.

One tradition that seems to have disappeared completely is the exchanging of ornate chocolate boxes. Richard Cadbury, the heir of the renowned British chocolate empire, is credited with creating the first heart-shaped box for the holiday, according to History.com. He purposely sold chocolates in a beautiful box hoping the customers would treasure the pretty packing and use it again to store other items like love letters. (In fact, antique Victorian-era Cadbury boxes exist today and are considered valuable heirlooms.) Who knows, maybe your homemade box will be a collectible one day, too!

Though it's never been quite as popular in the United States, Denmark couples have traditionally celebrated the romantic holiday by sending one another pressed white flowers called snowdrops, according to The Huffington Post. The best part? These dried flowers last much longer than fresh ones.

In addition to a handwritten or homemade card, you could compose a sweet poem for the one you love. According to some historians, the oldest Valentine in history was a poem, written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans. You can make yours cheeky, sentimental, or lovey dovey&mdasheither way, we're sure the recipient will be thrilled by whatever message you craft.

If you're going to give a mass-produced card to your partner or spouse this year, give a card that shows off your sense of humor, like the Victorians did. "They had a wicked sense of humor," Jayne Burgess, the manager of the Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections explained on the university's website. They didn't take themselves too seriously and used their cards as a chance to make their partner laugh.


Watch the video: Η ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟΣΚΟΥΦΙΤΣΑ (July 2022).


Comments:

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