Even when the language is different, the feeling of love is universal. The traditions of other cultures can also be used as inspiration for finding a memorable way to let your significant other know how much you care.
Over the years, the sign for "I love you" has been featured on t-shirts, posters, and a 1993 collectible US postage stamp. A children's book, The I Love You Story by Walter Paul Kelley explores the history of this sign. Try presenting your loved one with one of these items as a lasting token of your affection.
In Valencia, October 9 is the most romantic day of the year. This is the Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Donís), known to locals as the patron saint of lovers. Women are offered a Mocadorà (Mocaorà) as a token of love and appreciation. This traditional gift is a selection of marzipan candies wrapped in a pretty silk handkerchief, which the woman keeps.
If your loved one has a sweet tooth you could pay tribute to her with a beautifully presented gift of her favorite treats.
If you like to express your affection with food or you’re in love with a foodie, French cuisine is sure to set a romantic tone. One of the most impressive ways to show love is with a traditional French wedding cake. Known as a croquembouche, this towering confection is made of macarons or pastries piled into a cone and bound with spun sugar or threads of caramel.
One romantic Welsh tradition involves the giving of “love spoons" as a token of affection. These beautiful wooden spoons were traditionally hand carved by young men who spent hours creating a gift worthy of the women they hoped to marry. Today they are given as engagement, wedding or anniversary gifts, or to mark a special occasion. Even if spoons aren't your thing, giving a thoughtful, handmade gift is sure to please.
One interesting Japanese tradition relating to expressions of love involves the observance of Valentine's Day. For Valentine's Day, women give chocolates to the men they love but receive nothing in return. However, one month later is a follow-up celebration called White Day. At this time, the men purchase white chocolate for the women if the feeling is mutual. Implementing this tradition in your relationship is a unique way to show your affection.
If you want to express your feelings in music, "Ich Liebe Dich" was the name of a popular song by German band La Düsseldorf. The single was released just before Valentine's Day in 1982 and publicized with an ad campaign featuring band members spray painting large graffiti hearts on the streets of Düsseldorf.
Pay tribute to your musical love by creating a perfect playlist. You could even include "Ich Liebe Dich" as one of the songs.
Many people who are unfamiliar with Hawaiian culture believe "aloha" means hello and goodbye, but the word is a versatile expression that can also refer to love, fondness, affection, kindness, sympathy, and compassion.
Rain and rainbows are considered blessings from the gods in Hawaiian culture, especially if it rains on your wedding day. So, don’t let rain ruin your date, embrace it, or give a gift featuring a rainbow—thoughtful gestures that say you believe your love is meant to be.
Verona, Italy is the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Visitors often take part in the tradition of leaving love notes at Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta).
If you can’t visit in person and need some romantic advice, you can be one of the 50,000 people each year that write to Juliet. Juliet Club members, known as the secretaries of Juliet, respond to these letters to keep the magic of this popular love story alive. In the spirit of this tradition, write a romantic letter or leave sweet notes for your loved one.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. Paris awarded Aphrodite the golden apple for being “the fairest” goddess after she promised to make Helen of Troy fall in love with him. In ancient Greece, it became customary for suitors to throw an apple at their beloved. If she kept it she had accepted his proposal.
If you don’t want to hit your loved one with fruit, Aphrodite is also associated with roses and swans. A pretty bouquet or a swan figurine or charm would be a wonderful way to express your feelings for the beauty in your life.
In Ireland, couples often exchange Claddagh rings as a token of their love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands in the ring represent friendship, the heart stands for love, and the crown indicates loyalty. Claddagh rings are most commonly used as engagement or wedding rings, but in some families mothers pass down the ring to their daughters when they come of age.