Valentine's Day in Scandinavia

Northern Lights over Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

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Scandinavia is a very romantic destination, so it's no surprise that many visitors and locals alike celebrate Valentine's Day. It is actually a wonderful place to spend your honeymoon, especially if it happens to be during Valentine's Day. Here how Scandinavia celebrates Valentine's Day on February 14.


In Norway, Valentine's Day has become a very important part of the social calendar for many, especially younger folks. In Norway, according to the legends, the sight of birds mating is a sure sign of spring and love. So Valentine's Day in Norway has become associated with that, and Norwegians tend to look for birds especially on February 14. Spring celebrations and Valentine's Day celebrations have become linked over the years. In Norway's big cities like Oslo on February 14, you can see stores displaying red hearts and other Valentine goodies.


After cautiously warming to the trend, Denmark has begun to embrace Valentine's Day traditions. One of the popular Valentine’s Day customs in Denmark is sending white flowers called Snowdrops. Also on this day, young couples swap funny little poems or love notes, known as gaekkebrev. The sender of a gaekkebrev writes a rhyme for his beloved, though he signs the message with dots, not a name. If the recipient guesses the name correctly, she receives an egg at Easter! Various Valentine’s Day events are held, e.g. live concerts and flower displays.


Swedish couples celebrate Valentine's Day in a variety of ways: by visiting a nice restaurant, going to a club with live music, or watching the sunset from the beach. Back in the 1960s, flower-sellers in Sweden, inspired by their American counterparts, began to promote Valentine’s Day. Today, huge amounts of roses, jelly hearts, and pastries are sold and exchanged by lovers. The young Swedes, in particular, have adopted the custom. Sweden's idea behind Valentine's Day is to show your love and appreciation of another.


Valentine's Day in Iceland, compared to many other countries is pretty austere. Iceland sees a generous use of flowers. Sending flowers to the beloved is a very common custom and several types of bouquets are available. Glorious rose bouquets are available all over the country, starting from neighborhood shops to specialist florist shops. Another noticeable feature of Valentine's Day in Iceland is the festive food. Remember, in Iceland's dark winter (Polar Nights), you can have both dinner and breakfast by candlelight.


Celebrating Valentine's Day in Finland is a very young, but also very popular tradition. Despite the fact that Finland has celebrated Valentine's Day only since the 1980s, it's now a beloved annual event. There are dedicated dances and events. Finns call Valentine's Day Ystävänpäivä, literally meaning "Day of Friendship."

Other Valentine's Day Traditions

So what do most of the locals do for Valentine's Day, in addition to the above-mentioned traditions? It's just like any place else: Get some nice flowers and arrange for a romantic dinner. What more can you ask? Well, many Scandinavians also celebrate Valentine's Day by taking the opportunity to experience one of the three Scandinavian natural phenomena.

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