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Valentine's Day: celebrating love, part 2-B of 4, around the world

Love is in the air!
Love is in the air!
Photo courtesy of gub gib/freedigitalphotos.net

Valentine’s Day is a very important world-wide celebration. Seeing what others do offers us insights into different customs and cultures, and helps us find unique ideas for our own practices. What do they do in Singapore, Brazil, and South Africa?

Singapore’s reputation, “the city of love and romance,” is long-standing. Their restaurants, hotels, and retailers offer huge deals honoring Valentine’s Day.

Additionally, most Singaporeans combine Valentine’s Day with the celebration on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. It’s considered to bring luck in finding “a loving and caring life partner.”

Because the Chinese New Year usually falls around the time of Valentine’s Day, unmarried women participate in an ancient Oriental custom. They throw oranges into the Singapore River with hopes of finding the promise of the New Year’s fifteenth day.

Singapore also has a stellar reputation for its extensive arrays of distinctive, exotic bouquets of flowers. Furthermore, it stands out for its delicious candy, other confections, and sentimental Valentine cards.

The Brazilian reputation of being romantic, passionate lovers is centuries old. They believe a special “Lovers’ Day” has extraordinary significance and influence in their lives.

Brazil has many unique ways of commemorating a “love day.” Number one is they celebrate on June 12th, not on February 14th.

On June 12th, Brazilians honor St. Anthony of Padua, the saint who brings good luck to marriages. It’s called, "Dia dos Namorados" (Day of the Enamored). They observe the entire day with loved ones, friends, family and relatives.

Beginning months ahead, they line the streets with decorations, lights, pre-booked concerts, rock-shows, and favorite festive, local foods. They feature every genre of music, dance, and culinary dishes. They do the same at their extravagant private parties.

South Africans observe an updated version of the ancient, pagan, Roman fertility festival, “the Feast of Lupercalia.” This was the only time during the year young boys and girls could mingle.

Girls wrote their names on slips of paper and placed them in an urn. Boys drew a name which made that girl his “partner” for the rest of the year. Today’s modern South African version finds young women writing the names of their love interest on their sleeves for all to see.

Saying, “I love you,” can be imparted in many varieties of ways. No matter what cultural observations one employs, it’s more important that you say it rather than how you say it.