When thinking of the coming holiday, we often picture flowers, chocolate and over-the-top cards overflowing with love. No matter if you are single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day in the United States brings expectations through tradition. However, these traditions do not ring true in all countries. Great Plains Communications wants to share how the day of love is celebrated (or not celebrated) around the world.

As a female in Japan, gift giving is your responsibility on Valentine’s Day with no expected reciprocation. It isn’t until a month later, on March 14 (White Day), that the men may return the affection. Though, much like the U.S., Valentine’s Day is a big day for advertising, as displays start to appear shortly after Christmas decorations are taken down around the New Year. According to USA Today, “The Chocolate and Cocoa Association of Japan estimates $500 million is spent annually on chocolate for Valentine’s Day,” while they then “spend another $500 million on chocolate for White Day.”

For Estonia and Finland, February 14 is less about romance and more about relationships with all loved ones as they celebrate Friend’s Day. While stores are still filled with heart-shaped merchandise and couples can show their affection, gifts are also given among friend groups with Estonia even having a “love bus” that single friends could hop aboard.

In Brazil, February is a time focused on Lent and to fully celebrate Carnival, rather than romance. It isn’t until June 12 that Dia dos Namorados (Lovers’ Day) is celebrated in consolidation with the death of St. Anthony of Padua (June 13) who is considered to be the patron saint of marriage.

No matter how you plan to celebrate the holiday of love, if it is with a significant other, group of friends or your favorite movie, Great Plains Communications wants to wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day.

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