It’s coming – Valentine’s Day. Next week is the day we celebrate love. Valentine’s Day, like Christmas and Easter, is one of the holidays that is celebrated internationally. While cards, flowers, goodies, and red hearts are popular world-wide, every country has a few traditions of their own – including the Scandinavian countries. Ingebretsen’s has some unique Scandinavian items for Valentine’s Day with that international flavor.
Here are some other ideas to add a little international flavor to your Valentine’s Day celebration.
Denmark – Valentins Dag
People celebrate Valentine’s day with the custom of white flowers called “snow drops.” The ritual of giving “snow drops” to loved ones is popular in Denmark. Also, on this day, young couples swap funny little poems or love notes written on paper with fancy cut-outs, known as gaekkebrev. The sender of a gaekkebrev writes a rhyme and signs the message with dots for each letter of their name, rather than the name. If the recipient guesses the name correctly they get an egg at Easter!
Finland – Dagur elskenda
Finns call Valentine’s Day Ystävänpäivä, literally meaning “Day of Friendship” and the bond of friendship is celebrated on this day. It’s believed that Finnish people began celebrating the Valentine’s Day around the end of the 1980’s. People usually enjoy the day with exchange of gifts. While other countries celebrate the event with the spirit of romance, Finnish people replace it with friendship. The Finnish postal service delivers special friendship cards and stamps. Greeting cards with romantic and funny lines on them are also an attraction in Finland.
Iceland – Dagur elskenda
Valentine’s Day celebrations in Iceland are celebrated with minimal functions unlike in other countries. It is mostly celebrated as a lover’s day in Iceland. Young people exchange flower bouquets to express their love feelings for each other. Iceland sees generous use of flowers. Sending flowers to the beloved is a very common custom and several types of bouquets are available. Another noticeable feature of Valentine’s Day in Iceland is the festive food. Remember, in Iceland’s dark winter (Polar Nights), you can have both dinner and breakfast by candlelight.
Norway – Valentinsdag
Youngsters in Norway exchange Valentine’s greeting cards on the day. These cards are well designed and printed with nice romantic lines to delight the lovers. Some of them contain creative, original line while others have lines from well known poets. In Norway, according to the legends, the sight of birds mating is a sure sign of spring and love. So Valentine’s Day in Norway has become associated with that, and Norwegians tend to look for birds especially on February 14.
Sweden– Alla Hjärtans Dag (All Hearts Day)
Back in the 1960s, flower-sellers in Sweden, inspired by their American counterparts, began to promote Valentine’s Day. Today, the parks and waterways get decorated with bright lights and Valentine color banners on the day. Sweden has a selection of very exotic flowers and flower shops offer nice collections of bouquets on Valentine’s Day. Today, huge amounts of roses, jelly hearts, and pastries are sold and exchanged by lovers.
The young Swedes, in particular, have adopted the custom. Sweden’s idea behind Valentine’s Day is to show your love and appreciation of another.