Valentine
Shutterstock.com
;

In China, the holiday is called the Qixi Festival, which is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and commemorates the day on which the Cowherd star and the Weaver Maid star are said to meet in passing.

In India, Valentine’s Day, as it is in the West, began to rise in popularity in 1992 due to the spread of commercial television, radio programs, and love letter competitions, but is harshly criticized by a large segment of the population due to its associations with colonialism.

Japan’s Valentine’s customs are quite unique—women traditionally give chocolates to men, although the romantic traditions traditionally associated with Valentine’s are reserved for Christmas Eve.

In Saudi Arabia, the religious police have banned the sale of all Valentine’s Day items, even going so far as confiscating red items from shops because the day is considered a Christian holiday. There is a black market for roses and wrapping paper, and more than 140 Muslims have been arrested for attempting to celebrate. But celebrate they do.

No matter what part of the world you’re from, no matter from what culture, class, or nation, you know what love is. You’ve experience it, been broken by it, been re-forged and renewed by it. And so it isn’t any wonder that Valentine’s Day, or a form of it, is celebrated all over the globe—love is universal.

So when February rolls around, don’t forget to show a little love to your sweetheart. You don’t have to buy expensive things or write Shakespearean sonnets. Love—the heart of Valentine’s Day—doesn’t need those things.

As the Beatles once sang, all you need is love.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus