How is the rest of the world celebrating Valentine’s Day? While we might think of Valentine’s Day as an American holiday, it’s celebrated (or protested) around the world with the same vigor as it is here. And in some places, it’s celebrated with a twist.
Japan’s Twisted Tradition
Men have it easy on Valentine’s Day in Japan – it’s the women who are expected to give chocolates on this day. And the chocolate giving is not limited to just significant others. “Obligation chocolate” is given to coworkers, friends and family in Japan. But the object of the ladies’ affection gets a more expensive or elaborate chocolate-themed gift. One of the latest trends is for Japanese ladies to give a chocolate mold of their face to their beau. Don’t worry, the men get their turn to reciprocate the love on March 15, White Day.
Love Locks Banned
From China to Venice, you’ll the see the tradition of love locks adorning bridges, especially around this time of year. All around the world, couples show their adoration by linking a padlock with their lover’s name on it to a bridge. How sweet, right? But the sentiment isn’t always shared by the authorities of these romantic places, who have starting fining and even banning love locks from their cities. Authorities in Rome have banned love locks from the Ponte Milvio, a famous bridge on the Tiber River. And we thought all Italians were romantics.
Valentine’s Day Under Attack
And, no, we’re not referring to bitter singletons attacking Valentine’s Day. While Valentine’s Day is openly celebrated in some Muslim countries like the United Arab Emirates, in others it is met with heavy resistance. Conservatives in Pakistan are demanding a boycott of Valentine’s Day, saying it’s a Western holiday that’s spreading vulgarity around the country. Similarly, in Indonesia, government officials are urging young people to skip this day as well, saying it’s an “excuse for couples to have forbidden sex.” But romantics in these countries are still finding ways to show their love on this day, with what else, but heart-shaped balloons and flowers.
Need your own ideas on how to celebrate? Check out all our Valentine’s Day ideas.
Love is in the air, and we’re celebrating all things Valentines Day here at Travel Channel. Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate with your sweetie, or all this talk of Cupid has inspired you to pop the question – we’ve got you covered.
1) Forget the red roses and prix fixe dinners – this Valentine’s Day, celebrate with an adrenaline-filled adventure.
2) Nothing says romance quite like a rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth artisan chocolate. Get a taste with our picks for the World’s Most Decadent Chocolate Tours.
3) Relax by your private outdoor plunge pool, or fall asleep to the sound of water lapping below your overwater bungalow – splurge on a trip to one of our picks for 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.
4) It’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of the life, so you’d better make it a good one! Consider popping the question at one of these Most Memorable Places to Propose.
5) Need to spice things up a little? Get out of town with a Sexy Weekend Getaway.
6) Imagine you’re Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, and exchange vows with your own Matthew Crawley in a Romantic Castle Wedding.
7) Cuddle close to your sweetheart, and watch the sky bloom with reds, yellows and purples at one of the world’s Most Romantic Places to Watch the Sunset.
8) Hiding the ring in a slice of cake is so last year … or, a few years ago, actually. Get inspired with these new Proposal-Popping Trends.
Love is in the air as February approaches, and what could be more romantic than a trip to paradise? Travel + Leisure has just released a list of the world’s most romantic islands — here are some of our favorites, and a few we think they missed.
Photo Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Lodge
Like it or not, V-Day is right around the corner (just a month away, to be exact). So, if you really want to impress your sweetie, it would be a good idea to start planning now. But if you’re still in the dark about what to get that special someone, there’s a good chance they only want to spend some quality time with you.
Sex and the City Zoo 4: Sexy Beast
Say what? Stay with us for a second. The Los Angeles Zoo is holding an “adults-only affair” on Feb. 9 with an enlightening talk by actress and interpretive naturalist of zoology Joleen Lutz. a reception featuring desserts and wines, “animal walk-abouts,” (including chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close) and an optional 4-course dinner at Reggie’s Bistro inside the Zoo.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is getting married somewhere secret, romantic and picturesque — well, everyone famous, that is. And to add to the ever-growing list of (almost) surprise weddings, the prince of pop and his famous bride might be walking down the aisle this weekend. walked down the aisle today. READ MORE
By Oyster.com Staff
Paris is the “city of light,” the most romantic city in the world, the art and fashion capital of the world — no wonder it is also the most visited city in the world. As France’s capital, Paris boasts a plethora of museums, monuments, and astounding examples of architecture, ranging from the iconic Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, to the Gothic-style Notre Dame Cathedral, dating back to the Middle Ages. Visitors often stroll along the Seine to take in the many sites, or walk down the Champs-Elysee, lined by high-end shops and crowned by the Arc de Triomphe. The city is very walkable and tourists are never at a want for things to do. READ MORE
A survey released today from YourTango.com, along with Ford Motor Company, shows that couples use road trips for “quality time” — giving them the chance to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
In the survey of more than 1,000 couples, 91 percent have taken road trips together, with 84 percent agreeing that the experience strengthened their relationship. Road trips allow for more than quality time, though, with 63 percent of respondents agreeing that they are affectionate with their partner while driving — holding hands or sharing a kiss at a red light. Who doesn’t like a little romance on the road?
By Oyster.com Staff
America’s “Wine Country,” Napa Valley is one of the best wine-growing regions in the world and is home to hundreds of vineyards that make for beautiful vistas — particularly during harvest season, which starts up this month. Although it can feel a bit touristy at times — after all, it’s common to see a tour bus parked outside of a famed winery — Napa Valley maintains a luxe, refined vibe. Some of the most popular visitor activities are wine-tasting, dining at the area’s top-notch restaurants, shopping and spa-going. But outdoorsy travelers can enjoy hiking, golfing and hot-air balloon tours. READ MORE
- Photograph by Frank Kehren, flickr
Venture down the stately “Avenue of Oaks” that leads to the majestic Manor House on Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC, an impressive remnant of Charleston’s antebellum past that became the star of a real-life fairytale wedding last night.
So you may not be able to plan a star-studded, top-secret, white-tent wedding, or have your $3,000 wedding cake cross 3 state lines in order to grace the dessert plates of Bette Midler or Christian Louboutin … and we’re guessing Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine is probably a bit out of your wedding band budget. READ MORE
In honor of our brand-new Destination: Wedding feature, this week’s Where in the World is a gorgeous boutique hotel in the Caribbean — a perfect place to say your “I Do’s.” But where is it? Leave your guess in the comments and then find out »