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Posted by the deTerra diarist

Hello my kitchen lovers!

It’s nearly the day of good old St Valentine, and I hope you get spoiled with some fabulous prezzies! But have you ever wondered how couples in other countries celebrate their blossoming love? I have, and after some thorough research, I’ve picked the best nature-based Valentines traditions to share with you lovely lot.

Pressed flowers on a greetings card Image Credit: Pinterest

Pressed flowers

Isn’t this just the sweetest thing? In chilly Denmark, they’ve only celebrated the big day since the early 1990s but since then they’ve all put their hearts into it. Sweethearts and friends give each other pressed snowdrops because they last so much longer than fresh ones, and men also give women a gaekkebrev. What’s that, I hear you ask? It’s a funny letter or poem written on a piece of paper that’s folded beautifully, and signed anonymously. Ooh, think of the suspense! As an extra scrummy treat, if the lady guesses who sent the love note, she’ll be rewarded with an Easter egg a couple of months later. Yum – that’s a tradition I can really get behind.

Heart-shaped oranges can be found in some South Korean markets Image Credit: eugeniekitchen.com

Heart-shaped oranges and single soup

Doesn’t that sound like a catchy ditty? Actually, it’s all about how South Koreans celebrate their love for each other. Hopefully they’ll have time to celebrate while the Winter Olympics is on! I’d really like one of these heart-shaped oranges found in a Seoul market – don’t they look delicious?

South Koreans go all out to show their love for each other – the 14th of each month is devoted to showing your partner how much you love ’em. Aww! In February, women woo the men with choccies and gifts, and the fellas return the favour in March. Single pringles celebrate on April 14th by eating a black noodle soup, called jajangmyeon. That doesn’t sound super appealing to me (and don’t ask me to pronounce it!), so hopefully I’ll be swept off my little feet before then!

A joined pair of love spoons Image Credit: wikimedia

Love spoons

Just over the border from my glossy Gloucestershire hideout, it’s traditional for Welsh people to gift each other wooden love spoons to celebrate the day of Saint Dwynwen – their patron saint of lovers. I’m not too sure how it came about, or what you would do with lots off spoons, but each one is intricately carved to show the man’s love for the woman. They can symbolise things like luck, support and the keys to the man’s heart too. Much more thoughtful than some of the presents I’ve received before!

Nearly forgot – I’ve nattered on about Welsh love spoons before. Silly me! Read about these wonderful things by clicking here.

A woman with a coat in the snow Image Credit: pixabay.com

The key to health is… snow?

In Romania, the citizens have a different take on a day for lovers, celebrated on 24th February. The traditional Dragobete festivities vary slightly in different regions of the country, but most include smartly dressed folks searching for spring flowers to pick and give to loved ones. It’s said that at noon, the girls are chased back into the villages by the boys that fell in love with them, and if they like each other they kiss in front of the whole community. How daunting!

If you’re a married woman, you might have to wash your face in chilly, chilly snow to be joyful and healthy – I tell you what, kitchen lot, I bet those women are just joyful about washing the snow off!

If you’re doing anything funky and romantic for Valentines, please let me know – I’d love to hear about it!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra diarist

 

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