We all know how V Day started with good old Saint Valentine of Rome (the one who was jailed for his commitment to marrying forbidden star-crossed lovers) – maximum aww – but the below love traditions will make you wonder how it all went so wrong. And occasionally right.

1. Slovenia

With love being the middleman in this country’s name you’d hope they have some sort of romantic past. Take it or leave it, but in Lake Bled tradition still says that grooms carry their brides up the 99 steps to the church (at least it’s a nice view on the way up?) as it’s considered good luck.

A photo posted by @iamthewalhovd on

You’d better hope your wife isn’t heavy.

2. Egypt

Evidence suggests that men in Ancient Egypt would get the day off to look after their wives when they had the painters in *wink wink*. If that isn’t the sweetest and at the same time most horrifyingly exposing thing…

“Where’s Paul?”
“Oh, he’s taking care of Mary today…”
“Nah he couldn’t be, he did that last week”.

A photo posted by Sherry Gabinelli (@ishikai) on

The stone that deemed men go home and wait on their wives with cups of tea n stuff. Gents, take note for the special ladies in your life.

3. Romania

Like a mix between a grown-up version of catch and kiss and a Valentine’s engagement (come on, you know you want one this year), Dragobete is considered the original Romanian V Day.

Dragobete was the god of love in Pagan times, so it’s fitting the custom is named after someone of romantic proportions. Young men and women would be in the woods gathering flowers (probs to get a jump on that wedding prep), then for some unknown reason, the girls would run home (!) and the boys would be in tow, to catch and kiss a lucky, lucky lady.

This to them basically meant an engagement announcement for the village, and it’s anyone’s guess what became of the flowers that played such a pivotal role in this ancient Tinder game.

A photo posted by No Urah (@n0_urah) on

4. Greece

Throwing an apple at someone in Ancient Greece was basically a proposal of marriage.

The Greeks are renowned for their loose style, so apple pelting comes at no surprise – ladies of the night in Ancient Greece also used to inscribe “follow me” on the soles of their shoes in the hopes of wooing potential customers. So there’s that.

Not exactly a romantic situation of the modern kind.

5. China

In Southwest China during the Sister’s Meal Festival (V Day equivalent), men from the Miao (!) ethnic village serenade the women, who in turn cook rice and dye it four different colours, wrap it in a hanky and hand it to the guys. Inside, along with the rice are clues as to whether she hearts him or not – two chopsticks is a “yes siree”, one chopstick is a polite “no, it’s not you it’s me” and a garlic – this one’s gotta hurt – is a total rejection. Awkies.

The smart ones put in a pine needle, which means she’s indecisive and he must bring her more gifts in order to make her decision easier.

It’s written in the sticks.

6. Finland

Every year, the village of Sonkarjävi in Finland holds the wife-carrying world championships.

A – This is a thing (can be any sort of partner, wives not a must)
B – You win your partner’s weight in beer. BEER. As well as the kudos that comes with winning something where you have to do an obstacle course as a suddenly severely overweight person
C – Where can I join

P.s. D – if that isn’t one way to show your love for your spouse…I don’t know much else.

7. Germany

At wedding receptions Germany-wide, brides are kidnapped by the best man and other friends to the bewilderment of the groom and taken to a local pub for the groom to find, known as “Kidnapping the Bride” obvs. Once the groom safely locates her, he must pay for the drinks they consumed during his scavenger hunt.

8. Australia

Bachelors and Spinsters Balls, or B&S Balls have been one of the constant outback activities since the outback was populated. Occurring everywhere around rural Australia, they have long been a tradition for young blokes and sheilas to meet, fall in love and move to each other’s farms.

Attendees drive up to 1000 km to attend their “local”, and organisers usually put on a breakfast the next morning or “recovery” – where they just move to a different location and continue drinking – once everyone has crawled out of their swag (mattress/sleeping bag).

A photo posted by The Life of Brian (@bj_hill) on

9. Croatia

Not exactly a tradition or custom, but defs worth the mention.

In Zagreb, there exists a “Museum of Broken Relationships” – I know – which features a random, oddball collection of formerly loved-up paraphernalia donated from across the globe by people who no longer wish to hold onto them.

A photo posted by jasonaeiou (@jasonaeiou_bw) on

Hilarious/heartbreaking cautionary tales ensue.

10. Scotland

In another feat of what the devil, a bride (and sometimes the groom) is assaulted with all manners of foul debris from rotten eggs to fish and treacle, and is then paraded through the streets for all to see, known only to the Scots as the “Blackening of the Bride”.

A photo posted by melissa grace (@mgmclean_) on

It’s got to do with believing this will prepare a couple for married life or something I dunno.

11. France

Not doing themselves any favours in the hygiene department, couples in France were made to drink the leftovers from their wedding party out of, well, a toilet bowl. In a miraculous feat of just plain sense, the custom no longer exists exactly, with newlyweds instead drinking and eating out of replica lavatories.

A photo posted by Éric Coisel (@ericcoisel) on

12. Wales

Like to be spooned? Welsh men carve wooden spoons and give them to their betrothed on January 25th, known as Saint Dwynwen’s Day, which basically celebrates Dwynwen (daughter of the King in the 5th century) and her grief for not being able to marry the man she loved. So she did a complete 180 and founded a convent on Llanddwyn Island. As you do.

In modern times, if the spoon is returned to the gifter, it means the lurve is not mutual. Major awks.

A photo posted by Llew Tudur (@lovespoons.wales) on

Fancy a good spooning?

13. Japan

On V Day in the land of the rising sun, the girls have to give the guys all the chocolate and flowers (unfair). BUT, our chocolateless counterparts get gifted a month later on White Day (March 14) and the best part is the guys are expected to fork out twice as much on presents and love things. Aw.

Alessia Castiglione
Alessia (not Alesha – please) is a serious Wicked fan and occasionally spends her time trying to get answers out of her cat. Eating forms the base of most of her weekend plans. One day she’d like to create the ultimate philosoraptor meme.