Not everyone has love for Valentine’s Day: In Pakistan, it’s “a shameful day”; in India, a Hindu group built a massive bonfire fueled by Valentine’s Day cards while in Saudi Arabia, it’s “a pagan feast.”
Another thing you didn’t know about Valentine’s Day is that its namesake doesn’t just inspire gifts, he actually was one. John Spratt an Irish preacher, in 1835 went to Rome and delivered a sermon that went over so well with the locals that Pope Gregory XVI himself sent Spratt a token of his appreciation—some of the remains of Saint Valentine himself.
For its part, the Catholic Church isn’t missing him. Unable to confirm anything at all about the guy, in 1969 it reduced him to the status of non-entity by striking him from the Roman Catholic Saint’s Calendar.
Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s play lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine’s Day. How sweet!
Teachers get the most valentines on the 14th February, followed by kids, mothers, wives and sweethearts.
In Wales, an intricately carved “love spoon” is a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. Cute, but quirky!
Some religious groups look to ban Valentine’s Day as they believe it promotes lusty behavior. In 2002, the holiday was banned in Saudi Arabia.
South Korea has a love holiday every month of the year! The three most popularly celebrated being in February, March, and April. In February, the ladies give the men in their lives candy. In March, men return the favor with non-food gifts. And finally comes April and “Black Day”, where the lonely souls who received no gift on either holiday eat black noodles to mourn their single lives.
In Finland where Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä, which translates into “Friend’s day” This day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones.
Despite this, many people in the countries that officially shun the holiday as nothing more than Western immorality seem even more determined than ever to celebrate it.
This is perhaps the only way to save Valentine’s Day, ban it. Drive it underground. Make it illegal. That would at least inject some excitement into a holiday that has otherwise become obligatory and boring.