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Valentine's Day Around the World

Valentine's Day, February 14th, is one of the most popular holidays around the world. Different cultures and countries around the world celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, as well as throughout the year. Read on to take a tour of the different ways people celebrate the many forms of love.


Africa celebrates this romantic holiday much like western cultures do, but some countries have their own specific ways of observing. Rwanda’s celebration does not follow any special African custom. Exchanging gifts and going out to a movie or to dinner are typical activities of the day. In Ghana, Valentine’s Day is highly celebrated, surpassed only by Christmas and Easter. The focus here is on the love couples share, but unlike western culture wearing red and giving flowers are not part of the tradition. Ghanaians also mark the day as National Chocolate Day as instituted by the Ghana Tourism Authority. Having it coincide with Valentine’s Day is a way of boosting consumption of Ghanaian chocolate, promoting local tourism and adding a healthy orientation to the holiday. Meanwhile in Uganda, especially the capital city of Kampala, dressing in red and black colors are quite important to mark the occasion. Some Zambians make a big deal about V-day, and other do not. Restaurants and shops offer sales and dinner specials for those partaking of the festivities, but if you do not have a partner or significant other to shop for or go out with, never fear. In Zambia it is also common for families and friends to get together to show their affection for one another.


Singapore, China, and South Korea celebrate this day of affection, spending the largest amounts of money on valentine gifts in all East Asia. They commemorate February 14th in much the way westerners do with chocolates and the like. In the Phi