Getting in the mood of romance isn’t always easy. Sometimes you need a little more inspiration than the traditional romantic dinner, chocolates, flowers and wine.
Sometimes it helps to do something new and exciting with your loved one, but often what helps the most is simply finding a way to spice things up, while still keeping them at your comfort level. In the name of merging the familiar with something new I decided to find out how other cultures celebrate this day of love and try to merge them with the American Valentine’s Day traditions. Here are a few of my favorite finds and ideas of how to merge them into your own celebration of love this year!
Finland & Estonia
Here Valentine’s day is focused more on friendship and appreciation than it is on couples and romance. The day is called “Ystävän Päivä” which literally translates to “Friend’s Day”. Gifts and cards are exchanged among friends.
My merge: Friendship between lovers is a key ingredient for a lasting relationship. Rekindle that friendship and in turn you’ll rekindle the spark that got your relationship started in the first place.
Brazilians celebrate a day called “Dia dos Namorados”, (“Lovers’ Day”, or “Boyfriends’/Girlfriends’ Day”). It is celebrated the day before Saint Anthony’s day (June 12th), known there as the marriage saint. There is a tradition for single women to play a game called “simpatias” where they place the names of their crushes on paper, fold the papers up and put them in a pile. The following day they pick a name from the pile and that is the man they will marry… in the game anyway. (Think playing MASH with your friends in elementary school).
My Merge: This week we get to celebrate V-day for the entire weekend (score!) so take advantage. Compile a list of your favorite activities to do as a couple and pick one each day this weekend to do together.
Ahhh, home to the city of love. As all things French, their V-day tradition starts and ends in drama and heated emotions. The day began with single men and women gathering in houses facing each other. They would take turns yelling out to one another until they were all set in pairs. If a man didn’t like his match he would leave the woman for another man to call on. Women that were not matched up got together and threw pictures and objects of the men that rejected them into a communal bonfire. This tradition was ultimately banned by the French government…for obvious reasons.
My Merge: Snuggle in front of the fire with the one you love, imagine burning away fear and inhibition and make room for warmth and love.
However you decide to celebrate, we wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend ahead!