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How is love celebrated around the world?

By HarryTuesday 13th February 2018

As we get ever closer to Valentine’s Day, the shops are packed with cuddly toys and bouquets of roses. However, not all countries across the world celebrate romance in this way. Join us on our search for love around the world.
 

Chinese wedding ceremony traditions

 
Chinese wedding ceremonies are steeped in tradition. From the colours, to the different way the groom must prove his love. In China, the colour red has long been associated with good luck. The reasons for this go back to an ancient Chinese tale, where a savage beast named Nian was terrified of the colour red, and wouldn’t attack anyone wearing it. Because of this, red is associated with joy and happiness.
 
 
At a Chinese wedding ceremony, you can expect to see a lot of red. The decorations will be bright scarlet in colour, as will the bride’s dress. The focus on red isn’t the only unique tradition of a wedding ceremony in China.
 
 
As if getting married wasn’t enough to prove a groom’s commitment to the bride, in a Chinese wedding ceremony, he must also shoot at her with arrows.
 
 
Arrows have a long history in the world of love, starting with Cupid in Roman mythology. The God of Love is famous for his bow and arrow, shooting unsuspecting couples and prompting them to fall in love.
 
 
In China, the groom must shoot (safe) arrows at his wife, then collect them. Once he’s collected them, he must snap them in half, to symbolise their long lasting love.
 

A toothy proposal in Fiji

 
Before the marriage ceremony even takes place in Fiji, in the South Pacific, their own traditions come into play.
 
 
If a man intends to ask his partner to marry him, it is customary he asks her father’s permission first. But, he must first present a gift to his (hopefully) future father-in-law; a tooth from a sperm whale. These teeth are ginormous, measuring up to 20cm long, and can weigh a kilogram.
 
 
Fiji is an extraordinary island sitting in the azure blue of the Pacific Ocean. While lots of people take the time in Fiji to relax on the beaches, there is also plenty of exploring to do inland. You can see fire walking on Beqa, or shop for delicious fresh fruit and hand-made souvenirs in the markets.
 

Before the wedding in Greece

 
Before a couple can get married in Greece, there are lots of traditions that a Greek couple must undertake for good luck. It starts with picking the dates for the wedding, as they must only pick lucky dates. Later, they will take part in the ‘krevati’ ceremony, which is the building of the marital bed. The mothers-in-law may even (gently) throw a young boy on the bed, so the couple will have sons.
 
 
As is common with Greek life, food is a massive part of a Greek wedding. In the past, it was traditional for newlywed couples to live with the groom’s family, and so before the bride moved in, she would have to pay a visit to her future mother-in-law. The mother-in-law would present the bride with a plate of honey, which the bride will use to paint three crosses on the door. This will ensure that the house is always encased in sweetness and joy.
 
 
There are even superstitions about how many people you should have in your bridal party, with odd numbers being the luckier choice.
 

Valentine’s Day traditions in Japan

 
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated slightly differently. Instead of men presenting women with a box of chocolates, it’s the other way around.
 
 
And it’s not just your romantic interest who will be the recipient of some sweet treats, either. Chocolates are bought for everyone, including friends and family. But the most expensive box is saved for your romantic interest.
 
 
Gentlemen, you don’t get let off that easily, though. A month after Valentine’s Day, you need to return the favour and get gifts for the ladies in your life.
 
Which country do you think speaks most to the romantic in you? Sail to our incredible destinations for the most romantic holiday ever.

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