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Travel Stories Blog

Romantic Gestures and Signs of Affection Around the World

- by COX & KINGS, THE AMERICAS

Posted February 11, 2015

Many cultures have their own unique romantic gestures, gestures that may not look like much to an outsider. These gestures can be small, or they can be large, elaborate things that take planning to accomplish. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some of the most swoon-worthy gestures from around the world.

Germany
When you see men and women walking down the sidewalk together in Germany, you may notice that all of the men are walking on the left side of their sweetheart. You might not think much of this, but it’s actually a subtle romantic gesture. German men walk on the left side of women because the heart is on the left side of the body, so they’re showing their love by making sure their heart is always as close to their significant other as possible. However, the one exception to this if the couple is walking on a busy street; then the man will walk on the side closest to traffic to protect his love.

South Korea
South Koreans love Valentine’s Day so much, they celebrate a variation of the holiday twelve times a year. On the fourteenth of every month, South Koreans have a love-related holiday. This includes hug day, candle day, kiss day, rose day, and much more. If you’re in South Korea on the fourteenth of any given month, you’re almost guaranteed to see couples giving gifts to each other.

Slovenia
In Slovenia, Valentine’s Day isn’t a day to celebrate love. Instead, it’s recognized as an important agricultural holiday; because it’s the first day Slovenian farmers begin working in the fields. But the Slovenians have still set aside days to celebrate love, including Saint Vincent’s Day on February twenty-second, Saint Gregory’s Day on March twelfth, and Saint Anthony’s Day on June thirteenth. On these days, Slovenians show their affection for their loved ones with gifts and flowers.

Japan
In Japan, they also celebrate Valentine’s Day on February fourteenth, but they’ve added their own twist in the holiday. Instead of men showering the women with gifts, it’s the other way around. Women give chocolate to all of the men in their lives, from their bosses to their significant other. Each person gets a different type of chocolate. The women give their casual acquaintances cheaper chocolate, but for their significant others or for men who they have romantic interest in, they splurge on the expensive stuff. Valentine’s Day is one of the few times Japanese women get to openly declare their affection for the men with whom they're interested.

The world is full of unique romantic gestures and holidays that celebrate romance. If you find someone you like in any of these countries, declare your interest with these romantic gestures.