Valentine’s Day 2012: Top Things To Do in Asia
Valentine’s Day might be a western concoction, but people across Asia are certainly not adverse to getting romantic and sentimental on the date. While the majority of celebrations of this nature do take place on or around February 14, there are other events celebrating the same idea at other times of year. From underwater weddings to the exchange of chocolate dipped sticks, here are some romantic events happening in Asia to celebrate love.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Singapore
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Valentine’s Day 2012 in Thailand
In Thailand Trang Underwater Weddings welcomes couples every year to exchange their vows under the sea from February 10-12. Prices are about 25,000 baht (US$800) per couple and 34 couples have taken the plunge, literally, this year to do the deed. Underwater weddings started in Trang in 1996. It’s also the location of the Largest Underwater Wedding Ceremony – awarded by the Guinness World Records in 2000. In Thailand marriage vows are literally a leap of faith as couples have their ceremony in mid air in these popular ceremonies in Thab Lan National Park, Prachinburi province on February 13-14. Couples swing out from the cliffs to say their “I do” in what is to become the start of a life long adventure. If you missed out on a good smooch last year you could head to Pattaya for this competition running 12-14 February. Couples here aim to break the 46-hour long Guiness World Record. The winners get 200,000 Baht.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Taiwan
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Taiwan on February 14, but there is also a special Valentine’s Day on July 7 of the lunar calendar, based on an ancient Chinese folktale (**). Both dates are equally as important. Many men purchase expensive bouquets of roses and other flowers for their sweethearts on these days. According to Taiwan tradition, the color and number of the roses holds much significance. For example, one red rose means “an only love,” eleven roses means “a favorite,” ninety-nine roses means “forever,” and one hundred eight roses means “marry me.”
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Korea
The traditional gift of candy takes place in Korea on February 14, but only from females to males. There is another special day for males to give gifts to females and this is celebrated on March 14. Very similar to the custom in Japan, March 14 in Korea is known as “White Day.” On “White Day,” many young men confess their love for the first time to their sweethearts. For those young people who have no particular romantic partners, the Koreans have set aside yet another date…April 14, also known as “Black Day.” On that date, such individuals get together and partake of Jajang noodles, which are black in color, hence the name of the day.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in China
China calls Valentine’s Day Qi Qiao Jie. Daughters who are not married pray for a perfect husband. As a romantic day in the year, people exchange chocolate, gifts and sweets.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in India
India is somewhat new in celebrating this holiday. Some people are resistant to Valentine’s Day, as it is a western tradition. Yet others are embracing this as a day to celebrate their love for each other with the exchange of stuffed animals, flowers, cards, candies and jewelry, which is considered the ideal gift for an Indian woman. Wedding proposals are common on this day.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Hongkong
In Hong Kong’s financial district couples can have a fast food catered wedding at McDonalds. According to Reuters, The ‘McWeddings’ are decorated with pink balloons, and a wedding cake made of McDonald’s apple pies piled one on top of another. This new service was just started January 2011 and 2 weddings have already been booked. About 70 other couples are considering this venue. For $1,282 they can get golden arches invitations, wedding gifts, decorations with Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar and other acoutrements. You can rent a wedding gown for an additional $165.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Bangladesh
Couples attended different kind of programs to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Especially on the Dhaka University (DU) campus where they were able to express their feelings of love to the opposite sex in an atmosphere of fun, frolic and festivities. The young folks celebrate the Valentines Day across the country, but the day does not have much scope for privacy, as it will witness mainly the youthful, sprightly exuberance centering the most precious feeling of youth … ‘romance’. Adding to the elegance of presenting one’s loved one with a rose are the greetings cards brought out by the famous outlets Archies and Hallmark who are selling cards and gifts items on discount. To mark the day, on the other hand many hotels, cafes and restaurants have offered different types of attractive gifts & dishes for couples.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Australia
The gold miners in Australia who were blushing with new found wealth from the Ballarat mines were willing to pay a princely sum for making elaborate valentines. The merchants in Australia would generally send orders of a thousand pounds at a time to make the Valentines Day grander. The most profligate of valentines were made of a satin cushion and ornately designed with flowers, colored shells, ribbons etc. All this work was kept in a neatly adorned box.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in New Zealand
A very popular way of celebrating Valentine’s Day in New Zealand is by arranging picnics and romantic outings with one’s partner. There are a number of exquisite and beautiful locales for this purpose, like the unique Haulashore Islands or the picturesque hills and vineyards that dot the country. Advance bookings of resorts and holiday cottages, offering scenic views, are made and people indulge in moments of luxury and fine living. Special Valentine packages are also available during this time and people make plans in advance, to grab the best options. On Valentine’s Day, get-togethers and home parties are widely arranged throughout New Zealand. Friends and family members come together to spend some quality time. Every house can be seen bedecked and adorned with beautiful decor, garlands of flowers, red roses, ornamented lovebirds and lovely posters of cupid. Sumptuous meals are prepared, games are played and there is a general environment of merriment and gaiety. As a part of the Valentine celebration, special Helium balloons are also exchanged and the kids have a blast playing with them. There is something very appealing and alluring about the entire festival of Valentine’s Day in New Zealand. Such is the environment here that people of all moods and mindset are automatically drawn to observe it. The unique history and cultural background of the country makes the celebration even more interesting. The festival unifies the entire nation as a single element, as the sole purpose of observing the festival is honoring the exquisite human emotion called love. so, do try to make it your valentine destination this year!
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Duabi/UAE
In Dubai, which has traditionally permitted celebration of Valentine’s Day, the tourism authority has banned the sale of alcohol.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Israel
In Israel, the day of love is known as Av-Tu B’Av, and is celebrated in the latter part of August. Going back to biblical times, girls dressed in white dresses and they would dance in the vineyards where the boys would meet them. Today, Av-Tu B’Av is a popular day to propose marriage and bestow gifts of love to each other.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Japan
Valentine’s Day is only celebrated by women in Japan. Japanese women give men a token gift as an expression of their love on Feb 14. On Mar 14, Called White Day, men return the gift to their partner. This tradition has only been recently started in 1978 by Japan’s National Confection Industry. White chocolate is commonly given, since the day is known as White Day. Although chocolate is the most common gift, cookies, white lingerie, and jewelry are popular gifts also.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Philippines
Mass weddings on Valentine’s Day have become increasingly popular in the Philippines and 2012 is not likely to disappoint. In Palawan city last year 150 couples got married in the rain and planted mangrove trees to a themed event called “Love affairs with Nature”.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Uzbekistan
Well, this is Authorities in Uzbekistan are, apparently, unwilling to give love a chance, with news reports claiming that concerts and other events for Valentine’s Day have been cancelled in the country. Last year, the ‘Turkiston’ newspaper described Valentine’s Day as the work of “forces with evil goals bent on putting an end to national values”.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Pakistan
Many in Pakistan are concerned at the increasing popularity of Valentine’s Day among young affluent teenagers and students. Conservatives see the celebration as an immoral Western idea, which should not allowed to be penetrate Pakistani culture. However young Pakistanis argue that there is nothing wrong with celebrating love, and no threat to the country’s Islamic culture from such a celebration. Some extremist groups threaten violence against those who celebrate Valentine’s Day and it is unclear if the street vendors were arrested or carted off for their own protection.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Malaysia
In Malaysia, officials have warned Muslims against celebrating. The warning follows plans announced last week by several Malaysian states to crack down on “immoral acts” during Valentine’s Day as part of a campaign to encourage a sin-free lifestyle. The head of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, which oversees the country’s Islamic policies, told state media, “In reality, as well as historically, the celebration of Valentine’s Day is synonymous with vice activities.”
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia have banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day 2012 in Iran
Iran also banned the celebration. Iranian officials say they will take action against those who ignore the ban.