By Miss Adri’s students:
Jessica Martinez, Romina Vazquez, Gael Urbina, Lizbeth Echeverria &
Alma Karina Salinas

Valentine’s Day today is a sweet day of pinks, reds, boxes of chocolate, and bouquets. School children write Valentine’s cards to their classmates, while we plan romantic dinners and exchange sentimental gifts with our significant other. But the holiday’s history shows its origins in quite a different way.
It all started with the Lupercalia pagan festival that the ancient Romans held in order to boost fertility. It also involves a priest, Saint Valentine, that it is said, used to marry couples in secret at a time when Roman Emperor Claudius II had forbidden young soldiers to get married. Once discovered, Saint Valentine was sentenced to death. While awaiting his execution, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and when he was to be killed on February 14th he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”. Throughout the ages men and women continued to write love notes to each other, until our time.
Here are some of the most interesting Valentine’s traditions around the world.


Ystävänpäivä is the name for Valentine’s day in Finland. It means “Friendship Day”. On this day people give cards by sending them through the post office and also give small gifts to their friends. More than 3 million postcards were sent for Friendship Day in 2015. They also make plans to hang out together or to go out for a coffee with ”pulla” (Swedish cinnamon rolls).An interesting fact is that although this is Valentine´s Day, people don´t exchange heart-shaped things, kisses or hugs, because they´re reserved for people that already know each other and share a certain degree of intimacy.


In both South Korea and Japan, Valentine’s Day holds special cultural significance. In South Korea, February 14th marks a day when women express their affection by giving chocolates to men they admire, followed by White Day on March 14th when men reciprocate the gesture. Meanwhile, in Japan, Valentine’s Day is a time for expressing gratitude and affection not just to romantic partners but also to friends and colleagues through the tradition of giving chocolates, including “Giri-choco” (obliged chocolates given out of a sense of duty rather than genuine romantic interest), and “Honmei choco” for romantic interests. These customs showcase the importance of relationships and the exchange of tokens of affection in both societies.


Talking about the United States, lovers might be surprised to find out how much people express their love. Every year, Americans spend a huge $18 billion on things like candy, cards, chocolates, flowers, and jewelry to show affection. Giving greeting cards is really common, not just between couples, but also among families, friends, and even students who exchange cards with messages of friendship, love, and thanks. Interestingly enough, the most popular Valentine’s Day treat in America isn’t chocolates; it’s those small conversation hearts with messages like “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me.” 

Here’s a cool fact: enough of these candy hearts are made every year for everyone in the world to have one!


In 2024, Peru presents a unique fusion of celebrations as Carnaval’s closing matches with Valentine’s Day on February 14th. This remarkable coincidence means that both the vibrant festivities of Carnaval and the romantic decoration of Valentine’s Day will be blended, creating an exceptionally festive day. Peru is known for its preference for orchids, the exquisite blooms native to the country, which symbolize love and beauty rather than the conventional roses. This choice reflects Peru’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. The day is marked not just by the exchange of gifts but also by vibrant street festivals, dance performances, and even mass wedding ceremonies, showcasing the communal and celebratory spirit of the Peruvian people. Imagine streets alive with color, joy, and expressions of love, symbolizing a perfect harmony between cultural tradition and the universal celebration of love and friendship.


In the UK, couples get seriously romantic on Valentine’s Day. Lovebirds all over the Isles exchange gifts of flowers, chocolates and jewelry. In the evening, couples typically enjoy a nice dinner on the town or opt for a candle-lit spread at home. 

Children are also part of that day, for example they sing romantic songs to receive in return sweets or fruits.

Some young girls wake up early in the morning to stand in front of the window and watch people pass by. 

This happens because in the UK there is the belief that the first man who sees a woman the morning of Valentine’s Day will be the man of her life.

Another curiosity is that it is considered bad luck to see someone dressed in red on that day, it is believed that wearing red will cause heartbreak or bad luck.

Finally, there is the ancient tradition of putting a piece of carbon in the socks of the loved one, the reason is not clear, so if someday I travel to the UK I will ask them…

Ready to celebrate the month of love? Whether celebrating romance, friendship or love in general, this is a really charming holiday that reminds us how important it is to show our affection to our loved ones, and not necessarily by giving expensive gifts. A wholehearted hug, a loving kiss or an “I love you” message can truly make a difference in the lives of your loved ones.