By Nami Nagaoka
There are numerous ways that Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world. At Youngstown State University, there are a variety of cultures that will celebrate in different ways on Feb. 14.
David Marsh, a YSU alumnus, said that in England, flowers are primarily given on Valentine’s Day because gardening is very popular. According to The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), there are an estimated 2,300 garden centers and retail nurseries in England.
“Roses are super expensive, but everyone tries to get some on Valentine’s Day,” March said. “They say that it is prickly at the stalk only because it holds on it the softest, most cushy bright red petals, and [roses] are the epitome of love.”
Marsh plans to stay indoors and order Chinese food with his wife this Valentine’s Day.
“We see no need to prove our love since we do so often anyway,” he said. “We would much prefer to spend the evening together watching a movie or playing games than to go out.”
According to CNN Travel, China celebrates their traditional Valentine’s Day, called Qixi Festival, as well as Western version of Valentine’s Day.
Many young Chinese people choose to celebrate the Western Valentine’s Day over the traditional one, which this year falls on Aug. 16.
Kane Li, a YSU graduate, said that the Qixi Festival and Western Valentine’s Day have almost completely different meanings, even though some celebrate them the same.
“In my experience, the Chinese Valentine’s Day is more focused on meeting and travelling, while the American Valentine’s Day is more focused on chocolate trading,” Li said.
JeeWon Kim, a YSU exchange student from South Korea, said she hasn’t experienced Valentine’s Day in America yet.
“We think it is for marketing, so usually adults don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day,” Kim said. “In Korea, usually, only couples give and take the chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”
Kim also said in grade school, she celebrated “White Day” as well, which is a day when boys give candy to girls.
“Valentine’s is for women; White Day is for guys,” Kim said. “We just like to get some pretty things, like sweets or an accessory.”
She currently doesn’t have a boyfriend, so she said she’s planning to give some chocolate to her friends. Eventually, Kim said she wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day more seriously.
“I want to get a chocolate from a guy,” Kim said laughingly.
Whatever way Valentine’s Day or a similar day is celebrated, Kim said that the important thing is showing sweetness and affection to those you care about, whether it is a significant other, family or friends.