Valentine's Day: Bizarre ways people celebrate across the world

Graticia Langley and Randall Ricardo Koen, one of the ten couples who tied the knot during the 12th annual mass Valentine's Day wedding ceremony, pose for photos at the Garrison Church on Robben Island on February 14, 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Graticia Langley and Randall Ricardo Koen, one of the ten couples who tied the knot during the 12th annual mass Valentine's Day wedding ceremony, pose for photos at the Garrison Church on Robben Island on February 14, 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Foto24/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa has its own quirky Valentine’s Day tradition. Today, hundreds of couples will descend on Robben Island for a different type of incarceration when they tie the knot in the annual Valentine’s Day mass wedding, which has been attracting lovers since 1999.

Couples will journey to the World Heritage Site to exchange their vows in the presence of their loved ones … and crowds of strangers.

Here is a round-up of some of the odd ways people will be celebrating around the world. Perhaps they will inspire you to drop the old cliché of roses and a romantic dinner and do something different on the day of love …

Japan

In Japan, it is women who spoil their men with chocolate. Not just any chocolate will do either, as the expectation is not only that it should be high quality but that it should also be delivered by hand.

Cute cartoon happy baby pig hugging a soft red pillow heart
Cute cartoon happy baby pig hugging a soft red pillow heart
Image: Iulia Brovchenko via 123RF

Germany

Usually, the heart symbol is printed on Valentine’s Day mugs, cards, balloons and just about anything else you can think of. But not in Germany, where pig-inspired gifts are all the rage. In that part of the world, pigs are seen as a symbol of luck and lust.

Ghana

In Ghana, they celebrate February 14 as “Choco -late Day”, with restaurants making sure they have plenty of it on their menus. There are also several museums which have chocolate exhibits on the day. As one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, Ghana makes sure people don’t forget the influence the country has when it comes to all things chocolate.

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