With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may be already contemplating ways to treat your loved one. Our latest blog looks at unusual Valentine’s traditions and later, offers ideas for things you can do to celebrate this special day. Dining out is always well received, and when it comes to restaurants, Northamptonshire boasts Rushton’s exquisite cuisine. But more on that at the end of the blog…
You may be surprised to learn that China has been celebrating its very own version of Valentine’s Day for centuries. Originating from a folklore tale, China’s Qixi festival celebrates the forbidden love between a farmer or cow-herder and a princess. They are destined to reunite on only one day a year, which is celebrated as the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar. As part of this tradition, couples pray for prosperity at temples and look to the sky to catch a glimpse of stars Vega and Altair (who represent the star-crossed lovers) as they pass nearby on their annual reunion.
Societal expectations and roles are reversed in Japan come Valentine’s Day – ladies spoil their Valentine’s with chocolates on the 14th of February. The recipient of their gifts will usually be their partners, who will receive the finest quality chocolate. There are three tiers to these gifts:honmei-choco, giri-choco and cho-giri choco. Honmei-choco (the meaning of which can be translated to true feeling) is reserved for serious partners. Colleagues, crushes or acquaintances will usually receive giri-choco which is viewed as chocolate that is given out of obligation; this pales in comparison to the honmei-choco but is still better to receive than cho-giri! The latter form of chocolate is a double-edged gift for unpopular gentlemen and will be of basic quality.
While still known for being a commercial celebration in Germany, on Valentine’s Day there are a few surviving older traditions practiced. These include gifts of pigs – think the likes of pictures, chocolates and statues as pigs are believed to incite lust and bring good fortune. Most commonly, Germans will gift the object of their desires a gingerbread heart covered in sweets that make up a message.
The Welsh certainly celebrate Valentine’s Day like the rest of us, but did you know that they have their own equivalent called Dydd Santes Dwynwen, celebrated on the 25th January? This day marks the Welsh patron saint of lovers and will see many couples purchase a lovespoon. This carving tradition is centuries old and many believe that it stems from suitors wanting a symbolic gesture to give their loved one, that would truly show their desire to support the one they love.
However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s unforgettable. Here at Rushton Hall we have a whole range of experiences and offers that can be tailored to make your Valentine’s truly special. Contact us today to find out more.
Don’t waste time searching for restaurants – Northamptonshire is the perfect destination for celebrating your love this Valentine’s Day. Find out more by contacting us today.