Valentine’s Day Around the World

Shoreline Community College’s International Peer Mentors come from all over the world. Here’s how they celebrate Valentine’s Day in their home countries!


Blanche, our IPM from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, says, “On Valentine’s Day in Congo people tend to dress in red (or pink) and black and when you’re dressed that way people on the street will call you ‘Valentine.’ Also, on Valentine’s Day flowers and all kinds of gifts are sold everywhere on the street.”

Jisa describes how Valentine’s Day is a holiday mainly for girls in Japan. “Only girls give boys chocolates. Nowadays, there are two meanings in those chocolates which girls give boys; chocolate wishing good friendship, or with confession of love. For boys, there are another day, which called “White Day” on 14th March, to give girls candy to response to Valentine’s Day.”

In South Korea, Jinhee shares there is also a separate Valentine’s Day and White Day. “Valentine’s Day in South Korea is quite different since this day is mostly only for couples, where in America people celebrate with whoever they love on Valentine’s Day. Normally girls give chocolate, presents to guys on Valentine’s Day, and there’s a ‘White Day’ on March 14th when guys give candies in return.”


In Indonesia, Valentine’s Day isn’t widely celebrated, but Yuron describes the various ways some people do spend the day. “People usually give out flowers, chocolate, or celebrate over dinner or a day out. Some people without couples would go out together while people with couples would go on dates. During Valentine’s Day, we can also see people selling balloons, flowers and other Valentine’s presents on the streets.”

Clara shares some of the more romantic things you can do with your loved one in China, “Normally, they would go to movies, go out for dinner, and send gifts. Chocolates, bear toys, and roses are one of the best choices for gifts. Different amounts of roses indicate different meanings as well. For example, one rose indicates ‘You are the only one I love,’ and ninety-nine roses indicate ‘I love you forever’ Also, Chinese people celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day every year, which is on lunar calendar 7th of July.”

In Jordan, Moe shares that everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day, even if they’re not a romantic couple. “Everyone shows love to their family, friends and life partners. All schools, universities and major companies do bake sales and sell flowers on this day.”

TK says that in Thailand, everyone can celebrate Valentine’s Day, but only couples do major events. “In my high school, people either give small chocolates to friends or stick heart shape stickers on friends’ student uniforms.”

Megan thinks that Valentine’s Day in America reminds her of Hong Kong. “People in Hong Kong don’t treat Valentine’s Day as a special day, as couples celebrate normally while singles are moaning that they are single. But in some way I think the way we celebrate is kinda similar to the Americans, as someone who loves Valentines’ Day would give chocolates and flowers to their friends.”

Meg Humphrey

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