Lovespoons and Mass Weddings; Valentine’s Day Traditions and Gift Ideas From Around the World

Lovespoons and Mass Weddings; Valentine’s Day Traditions and Gift Ideas From Around the World

Are you getting bored of buying jewelry and roses for Valentine’s day every year? Different countries from around the world have their own Valentine’s day traditions and special gift ideas for loved ones. Because February 14th is getting closer we decided to search around various markets and see which products and traditions are trending around on that day. Bellow you will not only find gift ideas and interesting cultural facts on different nations, but also retailers will have an opportunity to refresh the market with new products and campaign ideas.

A Chocolate Kiss From Italy

Before the break out of Valentine’s tradition we know today, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as a Spring Festival. To welcome back the warm weather celebrations would take place in the open air. Couples would meet in gardens and parks to listen to music, read poetry and take strolls.

Today one of the most popular traditions on Valentine’s Day in Italy is buying the native candy Baci Perugina for your loved one. It is a chocolate covered bonbon, hiding inside hazelnuts. What makes this candy so special is that the wrapping paper includes a “love note” – a romantic quote translated into four languages.

The chart bellow shows search trends in Google for “baci perugina” in Italy within the last five years. It is evident that each year an increase in search for the candy starts end of January and reaches its peak a few days before and on Valentine’s Day.


Italian Retailers of Baking Goods and Gift Cards – Pay Attention

Did you know that “baci” in Italian means kiss? What is interesting is that beside “San Valention” – “Valentine’s Day” in Italian, top related queries are associated with “frasi” – “quotes” and “ricetta”- “recipe”. This is valuable information for retailers in Italy which sell baking products and gift cards.


It’s evident that Italians are searching for romantic quotes and sayings to put into their Valentine’s Day cards. Gift card retailers should think about the right proportion of cards which do and don’t include printed sayings as blank cards may sell better.

And since Italians are know for their cuisine it comes as no surprise, that many decide to make their own “baci”.  A standard recipe for the candy includes hazelnuts, milk and dark chocolate, butter and chocolate spreading – nutella. Two weeks before February 14th retailers of these goods should encourage costumers to prepare the iconic Italian chocolate candy themselves, instead of simply buying it.

A Massive Wedding Day in the Philippines

For the past few years a new Valentine’s trend has swept the country of Philippines. On February 14th thousands of couples decide to get married in mass wedding ceremonies. Couples gather in various places such as malls or other public areas to get married or to renew their vows.

Many of these wedding are sponsored by the state. For instance, in 2016 the city of Manila sponsored a mass wedding for 350 couples in a basketball gymnasium, spending 350,000 pesos (around $7,300). This is because many couples in the Philippines can not afford a proper wedding, but the government is keen on encouraging people to marry and have families.

Offer Free or Affordable Wedding Packages

Another successful government campaign for free mass weddings is sponsored by Pag-IBIG. The Pag-IBIG Fund is a government owned corporation, which promotes and secures affordable shelter financing and housing programs for employed Filipinos. Each year the company selects 100 lucky couples and sponsors not only the ceremony, but also the rings, the bride’s hair and make-up, the wedding cake and a raffle ticket for a chance to win home appliances and even a house lot.

With Valentine’s mass weddings in the Philippines in such high demand it would be a good idea for retailers to take advantage of the celebrated event. Companies could promote their brands by organizing free weddings for underprivileged couples. Restaurant and catering business have a good opportunity to sell affordable and discounted Valentine’s day wedding packages, which would definitely boost profits in comparison to any other regular day.

The Welsh Lovespoon

The Welsh don’t celebrate Saint Valentine, but Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. The date is also not February 14th, but a couple of weeks earlier – January 25th.

A traditional romantic Welsh gift on January 25th is a lovespoon. Already in the 17th century, men carved intricate wooden spoon as a token of affection for the women they loved. Often on these spoons patterns and symbols would be carved into them, each signifying a different meaning. For example horseshoes, which represent good luck; wheels, which symbolize support; and keys as a symbol of the keys to a man’s heart.

Spread the Tradition Around

Though the tradition of giving lovespoons to the person you love originates from Wales, many local retailers have started to spread the tradition out to the rest of the world. Already on Twitter you can find many offers from online shops to check out their craftsmanship #lovespoon:

With the market overflown with flowers, chocolates and jewellery on Valentine’s day lovespoons are a great idea for those who are searching for a gift alternative. These handmade spoons carry a deeper sense of tradition and spirit of celebrating love. Retailers around the world should sees the opportunity to bring fresh new ideas on the market for Valentine’s Day and start to offer Welsh spoons as a unique gift.

14th February is “Friend’s day” in Finland

In Finland Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä, which translates into “Friend’s day”. Fins devote this day not only to their intimate loved ones, but also extend the celebration towards family members, friends and neighbors. That’s why on Twitter under the hashtag #ystävänpäivä you will find posts devoted to “Friend’s day” cards with friendship motifs.

Include the Word “Friend” in Your Campaign

Checking on Google Trends, the Finish word for “friend” – “ystävä” in Finland starts to gain popularity at the end of January and reaches its search peak on Ystävänpäivä.


This is a good opportunity for Finish retailers and service to focus on gift, trip, dinner and other social gathering offers that would focus on relationship between friends and not only couples. For the Finish Valentine’s Day it’s definitely a market to further develop and help customers to find new gift ideas for their friends.

Are you curious about other holiday traditions around the world? Have you thought about improving your holiday marketing strategy for specific markets? Great, contact us – we’d love to become a part of it and provide you with the necessary data.

Featured image source: Pixabay.com

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Polona Golob

Polona Golob

Enjoys a good crossword puzzle and matching keywords is her favorite.

Entries by Polona Golob