Did you know that Japan sells just about half of all its chocolate over the Valentine’s period, and that the Welsh woo their beloved with a spoon?

Contiki has taken a look at some weird and wonderful Valentine’s day traditions the world over …

Yes, that famous (or infamous depending on how you choose to look at it) day of love is upon us. What better time than now to travel around the world with Contiki and take in the many ways in which Valentine’s Day is celebrated?

It’s all about the chocolate

If you’re a complete chocoholic then head over to gorgeous Ghana for sumptuous lashings of chocolate, courtesy of your lover. Noted as one of the world’s most important cocoa bean producers, the government decided to use Valentine’s Day as the perfect vehicle to get the citizens eating more of the lovely dark stuff during February by making February 14 National Chocolate Day.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

In Japan the locals turn this celebration of love on its head by letting the women chase the men

Seriously! Girls give their guys a gift of chocolate in the hope that one month later they will receive reciprocal gifts in return. Retailers in Japan go to such extreme lengths to entice buyers to purchase chocolate during this time that it is said that half of all the chocolate sold in Japan is over Valentine’s.

Sign it with an X, or spoon your way to love

In Denmark and Norway a loved-up lad will send his Valentine an anonymous card or poem signed only with the number of dots that represent the letters of his name. If the girl guesses correctly who her love note is from, she will receive an Easter egg from her suitor. If not – she must buy the egg for him, by way of an apology.

The Welsh don’t celebrate St Valentine’s day: instead, they pay homage to their patron saint of lovers – Saint Dwynwen – by giving each other beautifully carved spoons and they do this in January, before the madness of the commercially-driven celebration starts.

The tradition has grown and now a hand-carved spoon is an appropriate gift for weddings, births and anniversaries, or just any celebration of love really.

If you’re a complete romantic and cannot wait for the annual celebration of all things love then head to South Korea. Every month on the 14th they celebrate something – hugs, love, wine, roses, kissing …

Every month is the month of love

If you’re a complete romantic and cannot wait for the annual celebration of all things love then head to South Korea. Every month on the 14th they celebrate something – hugs, love, wine, roses, kissing and you can guarantee that sales of fluffy toys, chocolates, flowers and all the usual Valentines trimmings go through the roof during February.

Putting a ring on it

There can be no greater commitment to the one you love than by putting a ring on it. The Philippines is where it’s at if you’re keen to be part of a mass wedding.

This phenomenon has taken off in recent years and the universal day of love is seen by many couples as the perfect time to tie the knot. Mass wedding ceremonies even take place in shopping malls and also attract long married couples who use this opportunity to renew their vows.

There you have it! If you’re in the market for love this Valentine’s Day you have lots of ways to celebrate. And if you want to start a love affair with travel then get hold of Contiki and see how you can travel the world.

For more information on Contiki’s trips throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America, call them on (011) 280 8400.