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6 bizarre Valentine's Day traditions from around the world


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Stuck for ideas this Valentine's Day? Take some inspiration from around the world...

Back in the day, France had a curious custom called the “loterie d’amour” where single men and women would gather in houses facing each other. After yelling at each other they would pair off, however if the man didn’t like his Valentine, he would desert her. At night, the deserted women would make a bonfire together and burn pictures and curse the men who deserted them. This has since been banned in France, but if you're feeling daring (or bitter?) why not get some friends around and try this on Valentine's night?

While UK men seem to collectively dislike Valentine’s Day, this is not the case in Japan. It's the day when the women give chocolate gifts to the men! Shops in Japan prepare as early as 1st January for the holiday, with over half of Japanese chocolate sales occurring around the 14th February. But don’t worry ladies, your turn comes on March 14th (known as White Day) where the men return the favour buy buying gifts for the women, though you’ll be glad to know that jewellery and clothes are more common gifts than chocolate nowadays. But single pringles, don’t be sad, the Japanese think of everything, there is a third holiday: Black Day. A month later on April 14th, it’s customary for singles to mourn their solitary status by eating dark bowls of jajangmyeon, or black bean paste noodles.

Caught between two loves this Valentine’s Day? Follow the lead of the women in Great Britain in the past. Women would to write their lover's names on paper and put them on clay balls that they would drop into the water. They believed that whichever paper came up first, that man would be their future husband.

Got your eye set on a guy? Make sure he’s the first person you see when you wake up! An Old Italian tradition for Valentine’s Day was for young, unmarried girls to wake up before dawn to spot their future husbands. They believed was that the first man a woman saw on Valentine’s Day was the man she would marry within a year.

However, for all your diehard haters of Valentine’s Day, maybe you should hide out in Saudi Arabia over the holiday. The nation has a religious police force that uphold the annual ban with support from the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Everything related to the holiday is prohibited - flowers, gifts...even the colour red! It's outlawed based on a fatwa against pagan holidays.

And finally.. although completely unrelated to Valentine’s Day, it's a funny coincidence that India celebrates Children’s Day on 14th November - exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day...

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