It's almost Valentine's Day. You know, hearts and flowers and Chocolate! I'm partial to Russell Stover candies, but I'm not picky. Whitmans. Godiva. It's all good,(right Husband?who may or may not be reading this).
In honor of this holiday I thought I would look around and see how other parts of the world celebrated. Do they buy flowers? Chocolates? Silly little Scooby Doo cards that say, "I ruff ru"? Let's have a look. As usual, my smartass remarks are in blue.
Danish men send their ladylove a valentine known as a gaekkebrev (or "joking letter"). This gaekkebrev is a romantic letter that contains a rhyme penned by the sender himself. The fun part of this custom is that the letter doesn't have the name of the sender. Instead, he signs the message with dots...one dot for each letter in his name. If the lady correctly guesses his name, he rewards her with an Easter egg during Eastertide. Where do I begin? A romantic letter sounds very nice. Signing it with dots? Is this a valentine or some sort of morse code? And what if the lady guesses incorrectly?
Recipient: Oh Joe! Thank you for sending me such a lovely valentine.
Joke letter sender: Joe? Who's Joe?
Blushing and stuttering recipient: Tom?
Joe: I didn't send you a Valentine. I don't even like you.
Valentine's Day is observed on February 14, when women present chocolates or gifts to the men they love. It is also common for women to give chocolates to any man close to them, such as co-workers and male friends, whom they don't actually love. This kind of chocolate-gift is called giri-choco which mean chocolates given because of obligations. Then on March 14, known as the "White Day", men who received chocolates or gifts on Valentine's day are supposed to return the favour to the women who gave them gifts.
Does this sound backwards to anyone else? And what if I don't like the guys I work with? Happy Valentine's Day, Bob and Mike. Here's some chocolate....no, no don't thank me. You might want to make sure there's plenty of toilet paper in the men's room though.
One way that the British express their love on Valentine's Day is by composing verses. About a month prior, certain British tabloids and magazines publish sonnets and verses to commemorate the holiday. This is especially helpful for the poetically challenged. Nothing says I Love You more than passing off a Lord Byron poem as your own.
I say that if you want something specific for Valentine's Day, drop hints. Gee that Tiffany heart bracelet is so cute. If, after the day has come and gone and you got knee high socks instead of the bracelet, then take a page from the Japanese (and me) and lace his chocolate with ex-lax.
*Thank you to theholidayspot.com for their information.
**All opinions are my own.