The tradition to celebrate Valentine's Day became very popular in Kazakhstan, as well as in other countries around the world. However, In 2011, Kazakhstan offered its date as an alternative to Valentine's Day — April 15, dedicated to Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu. Kozy Korpesh and Bayan Sulu are heroes of the poem of the Kazakh epic. It is an incredible love story of a young man and a young girl who was not destined to be together.
In China Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month on the Chinese calendar. The Qixi Festival is considered the closest equivalent to Valentine’s Day. It is a festival celebrating the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in mythology. The festival has variously been called the Double Seventh Festival, the Chinese Valentine's Day, the Night of Sevens, or the Magpie Festival.
The festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver girl and the cowherd, respectively. The tale of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han dynasty.
Valentine's Day in Japan celebrated as usual on February 14. However, according to an old custom, on February 14 only women give gifts to men. Usually, this gift for men comes in the form of cookies or chocolate. There are several types of chocolate-giving on Valentine’s Day: “giri-choco” is given to friends, colleagues, and relatives, “honmei-choco” is only for husband or boyfriend, “tomo-choco” is given by women to other female friends.
An interesting fact that a month after Valentine’s Day is celebrated White Day. It is a romantic holiday when men of all ages are expected to give gifts to any woman from whom they received giri-choco from the month before. Men aren’t expected to only give chocolate either. Instead, they can give gifts like handbags, lingerie, flowers, and clothes.
South Koreans celebrate in the same way as Japan, with both Valentine’s Day and White Day. But there is also a third day – Black Day. It is an unofficial holiday observed on April 14 each year. On this day, people who did not receive gifts on the previous two days gather and eat Jajangmyeon, noodles with black sauce. Some restaurants even host Jajangmyeon eating contests on this day. This day is specifically for single people.
February 14 is a wonderful combination of the Armenian holiday Trndez and St. Valentine’s Day. The common thing between these holidays is that they unite all lovers and bring light, good and positive emotions. Both holidays are accompanied by folk festivals. The main symbol of Trndez is the fire. Fire is the symbol of purification so just married couples jump over the fire hand in hand, then comes the time for childless women to jump, hoping to get pregnant soon. At the end of the holiday, everyone is dancing around the fire.
Photo: Jung Yeon