Connect to share and comment
Valentine's Day around the world
Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Today, Valentine's Day has little religious significance. But the holiday actually commemorates a priest, St. Valentine, who married young couples in secret around 270 AD.

At that time, Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages involving younger citizens, claiming that "married men made poor soldiers," according to the BBC.

There are many legends about St. Valentine — one of the most popular being that the saint fell in love with the jailer's daughter while imprisoned. Before he was beheaded, the Christian martyr wrote his sweetheart a farewell letter signed, "From your Valentine."

Nowadays, some countries condemn the holiday — one even said it's bad for your soul — while others appreciate it as a day of love.

To many people Valentine's Day means boxes of chocolate, bouquets of flowers and bundles of balloons. Others celebrate with underwater weddings in London, chocolate spas in Japan and decorated apples in Iraq.

Valentines day around the world 1
1

Couples re-enact the kiss scene of French film director Claude Lelouch's 1966 movie, "Une Homme et Une Femme" (A man, a woman) filmed on Deauville's beach of western France on Feb. 14, 2010, as part of Valentine's day. The event took place 45 years after the release of Lelouch's double oscar winner and Cannes Golden Palm feature starring French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee.

(Kenzo Tribouillard - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 2
2

Iraqi Kurds decorate apples with cloves to offer to their partners on Valentine's Day at a restaurant in the Kurdish city of Arbil in northern Iraq on Feb. 14, 2010. The preservation of a red apple with cloves is a Kurdish tradition symbolizing Adam and Eve's relation with the apple, representing love and prosperity.

(Safin Hamed - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 3
3

Thai couples kiss during a competition for the 'World's Longest Continous Kiss' to mark Valentine’'s Day in the Thai resort area of Pattaya on Feb. 13, 2011.

(Pornchai Kittiwongsakul - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 4
4

Visitors dab chocolate syrup on their faces at a chocolate spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort in Hakone town, Japan, on Feb. 7, 2010. The Yunessun offers the special chocolate spa to mark Valentine's Day.

(Yoshikazu Tsuno - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 5
5

Aquarists Kathryn O'Connor and James Oliver kiss in the Ocean Reef Display in the London Aquarium on Feb. 14, 2011 in London, England. The couple, dressed in wedding finery and breathing apparatus, received their blessing surrounded by giant green sea turtles, cownose rays and shoals of colorful fish.

(Oli Scarff - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 6
6

Chinese lovers tie a red ribbon to their little fingers, symbolizing eternal love for one another on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2005, in Beijing, China.

(Andrew Wong - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 7
7

Elderly women dance during the Old Love Parade, held as part of the celebrations of Valentine's Day on Feb. 13, 2010, at Constitution Square in Guatemala City's historic center.

(Johan Ordonez - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 8
8

A Thai worker holds gerberas at a greenhouse in Kfar-Hess in central Israel on Feb. 13, 2008, during preparations for Valentine's Day.

(Yehuda Raizner - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 9
9

Loveland Ski Area in Colorado hosted the 20th Annual Marry Me & Ski Free Mountaintop Matrimony on Valentine's Day on Feb. 14, 2011. More than 75 couples were pre-registered to get married or renew their vows high on The Continental Divide in this yearly Loveland tradition.

(Marc Piscotty - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 10
10

Workers select roses to be packed ahead of Valentine's Day at a flower farm of The Elite flowers company in Facatativa, near Bogota, Colombia, on Feb. 1, 2012. In giant greenhouses outside Bogota, the flowers are clipped and shipped worldwide, accounting for 65 percent of the roses imported in the US and many of the bouquets delivered in Europe.

(Guillermo Legaria - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 11
11

A bottlenose dolphin swims near a heart-shaped ice block at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise on Feb. 14, 2009 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

(Kiyoshi Ota - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 12
12

A Lebanese man dressed in a red bear costume offers chocolate to passersby during a promotion ahead of Valentine's Day in Beirut on Feb. 11, 2011.

(Joseph Eid - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 13
13

A couple waits for a Nile boat cruise on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Although not a traditional holiday in Egypt, globalization has made Valentine's Day increasingly popular with young urban Cairenes.

(John Moore - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 14
14

A couple dances in the central Slovakia resort of Donovaly on the eve of Valentine's Day on Feb. 13, 2010.

(Joe Klamar - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 15
15

South Korean women paint heart marks on their partners' faces with chocolate during a face painting event on Feb. 5, 2004 for Valentine's Day in Seoul, Korea.

(Jung Yeon-Je - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 16
16

100 brides in bridalwear race down the straight in pursuit of single Brisbane male "Daniel" at Eagle Farm racecourse on Feb. 13, 2010 in Brisbane, Australia. The winner went on a trip to Las Vegas with Daniel. Radio station B105 organized the event in response to the city's dating statistics of 7 single women to every 1 single male.

(Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 17
17

Pakistani children carry flowers as they walk towards a Valentine's gift stall in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Feb. 13, 2011.

(Farooq Naeem - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 18
18

A gay couple kisses during a fake gay wedding at the Love Park in Lima, Peru, during Valentine´s Day celebrations on Feb. 14, 2010.

(Ernesto Benavides - AFP/Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 19
19

A couple walk past hearts formed by 999 electric bulbs which were signed with people's autographs on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2009, in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province, China. Valentine's Day has become one of the most popular Western festivals celebrated in China.

(China Photos - Getty Images)
Valentines day around the world 20
20

A man carries a bunch of ballons as he walks down Union Street on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2011, in San Francisco, California.

(Justin Sullivan - Getty Images)
Indonesia ramadan 2014 3
It's a lovely thing when shared traditions unite so many different people.
Organizers will now submit their claim for a new record to Guinness World Records, which is expected to rule on it within two months.