Valentine's Day 2017: Why pigs are popular on love cards and other weird traditions

Though Valentine's Day is an occasion to express love in most part of the globe, there are places where the tradition has been tweaked.

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Flowers are on display for sale ahead of the Valentine's Day at a flower market. Reuters

The Valentine's Day is around the corner and it is time to express love with red roses, melting chocolates, romantic dinner, expensive gems and other gifts. Well, though Valentine's Day is an occasion to express love in most part of the globe, there are a few places where the tradition has been tweaked.

Saudi Arabia: Valentine's Day is banned in the Sunni Islamic kingdom and any men giving gifts to women are severely punished. "As Muslims we shouldn't celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women," an influential Islamic scholar told the Saudi Gazette in an interview.

France: Of course, Valentine's Day is celebrated on Feb 14 in France. However, today the tradition of expressing love has taken a new meaning. Single men and women shout around to be paired on this day and if one is not happy with their partner, they can leave them to find another. That sounds truly weird.

Slovenia: Rather than love, the day's about work in Slovenia. The Valentine's Day is considered an auspicious time for starting work in the vineyards. The Slovenians are somewhat late to the love party, celebrating the Cupids's Day on March 12.

Finland & Estonia: In these places the Valentine's Day is rather a friendship day than a day for the romantically involved. In Finnish, "Ystävän Päivä" means "Friend's Day" and on this day friends exchange cards & gifts, something that can be easily misinterpreted in many other parts of the world.

Pakistan: The celebration of Valentine's Day is abhored in the Islamic Republic. Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the Valentine's Day, saying it has no connection with Pakistani culture. The festival became the target of hardliners in recent years with some even calling it a "festival of obscenity".

England: In a few places like Norfolk, just like Santa Claus, a character called Jack will bring gifts to children on this day.

Wales: The Lovers' Day is celebrated on Jan 25 in most part of Wales, not on February 14 as in most parts of the world. This is in honour of St Dwynwen, who is considered as a "patron saint of lovers." On this day, men gift hand carved wood collectibles to women to express their feelings.

Denmark and Norway: Men send women funny little love notes called Gaekkerbrev. The sender's name will be encrypted in a funny way, making it a playful love game.

China: Here, Lovers Day is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month, according to the Lunar calendar. And the story goes like this—A weaver girl and cowherd were separated on either side of a river and on this day, they were united with the help of maples, who joins hand to form a bridge.

Germany: Germans consider pigs as a symbol of luck and lust. Henceforth, no Valentine's Day card is complete without the picture of a pig.

Japan: Interestingly, in Japan, women don't get any gifts on this day. It is the day for women to express their love to men and in-turn on March 14th, men return the favour.

Well, some of these traditions sound weird and some even cruel but in the majority of the countries across the globe, February 14 is considered as a "Day To Express Our Love."

This article was first published on February 13, 2017