On February 13, many people were hurriedly shopping to find a last minute gift for their sweetie. But in Zagreb, Croatia, Valentine’s Day preparation starts long before the holiday. Zagreb is known for a special Valentine’s Day treat that takes one month to prepare – licitars. Licitars are colorfully decorated biscuits made of sweet honey dough.
Ante Markota, Croatian international student, explained that many people get into the holiday spirit and buy licitars for their sweeties.
“The town streets are full of roses and hearts in the windows of bars and shops,” Markota said.
Like Croatia, many other countries around the world have unique Valentine’s Day traditions too.
Erin Larson has experienced the uniqueness of Valentine’s Day in Ecuador. When Larson spent last spring semester there, she was amazed by the effort that men put forth to treat their valentines.
“At night on Valentine’s Day, men would go outside of their girlfriend’s houses and serenade them,” Larson said. “I laid in bed awake listening to them all night.”
German international student, Max Birhdel, explained that it is traditional in his country to give heart-shaped ginger cookies as valentine’s gifts.
“The cookies are decorated with frosting and very delicious,” Birhdel said.
In Japan and Korea, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on more than one day. On February 14, women give gifts to the men. On March 14, men give gifts to the women.
In Denmark and Norway, it is traditional for men to send funny poems or rhyming love notes to their crushes anonymously. The man giving the letter writes only how many letters are in his name. The woman then guesses who sent the letter. If the woman guesses the sender’s name correctly, she receives an Easter egg later in the year.
There is great significance in the number of roses men give to women in Taiwan. One rose means “only love,” 11 roses means “a favorite,” 99 roses means “forever,” and 180 roses means “marry me.”