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I stumbled across this great, steaming pile of horse dung on the net today.

The celebration of Valentine's Day is actually a fairly recent thing in Australia. When I was a child it certainly had very little influence and even as a teen it usually came and went with very little hurrah. If you had a particularly soppy boyfriend who was influenced by US culture, you may have gotten a card and I suppose a few couples used it as an excuse to have a low key dinner or something. Basically, it really wasn't a big thing at all.

As an example, my ex and I first went out on 14th of February and it wasn't until years later we realised it had been on Valentine's Day. It's really only been in fairly recent times, mainly amongst the younger generations that media, targeted advertising and marketing have managed to get their greasy mitts on that it's caught on.

Schoolkids didn't, and still don't, make valentines at school to be given to classmates as a class activity. To my mind, putting less popular kids in a position to be humiliated and have their self esteem knocked down by not getting any from classmates is a terribly cruel and unfitting thing for a classroom environment. I, for one, don't know what US schools are thinking to put children in this position. School politics amongst kids can be hard enough without those in authority contributing to it. Apart from some private schools (and only a few of those), we tend to have a much more egalitarian and much less dog eat dog environment in schools over here.

Anyway, here's the piece of rubbish with any comments by me in italics. If you come to Australia over Valentine's Day at any time, PLEASE don't follow any of these so-called 'traditions'... you'll either be laughed at, strung up by the heels, be charged with sexual harassment in the workplace, or classed as decidedly creepy and strange.

Valentine's Traditions In Australia

Love, the four letter magical word that gets our head spinning and heart racing, is one feeling that binds people together, irrespective of all differences. It is the king of all emotions, the most wonderful sentiment known to man. It is ubiquitous. It has no nationality, religion, cast, creed or any other discrimination, for that matter. Valentine's Day is a propitious day for the lovers worldwide. Even so, there is nonconformity in the way people observe this occasion all across the globe. In Australia, which happens to be one of the most romantic countries in the world, Valentine's Day is indeed a big thing. The Aussies celebrate this day with great zest. Valentine's Day in Australia, is not just meant for the lovers alone, but is also considered as an occasion to strengthen love and affection between family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Flowers and cards make for the most popular V-day gifts in this part of the globe. Australians celebrate this day with carnivals, theatre festivals, etc. Learn more about the Valentine's Day traditions and customs in Australia in the section below.

Send a Valentine to a colleague over here and you're likely to be thought of as rather creepy at the very least, unless you have a very friendly and relaxed relationship with workmates (and a very relaxed admin) or do it in a humorous manner as a joke. Same goes for neighbours in general. Mums would most probably like a bunch of flowers on Valentines, but then, they'd appreciate them anytime! If I sent a Valentine to any of my family (apart from my Mum when she was alive), they'd think I'd lost my marbles! Mother's Day (to my older rellies or ones that were new mums) yes, birthdays, yes...Valentines? Definitely not!

  • The Australians love to do everything in style, and love is no exception! Aussies celebrate their V-day with much pomp and warmth. Apart from lavishing their beloveds with gifts and flowers, the Australians mark this day by giving away extravagantly designed Valentine's Day cards to their sweethearts. The tradition of exchanging cards apparently traces back its origin to the gold rush in the Ballarat Mine in Victoria that occurred sometime during the mid-nineteenth century. Due to the surge in the status and wealth of the miners, it became a tradition for them to lavish their beloveds with extravagant cards, intricately designed and beautifully wrapped.

Pomp??? Extravagantly designed Valentine's??? Is the author of this on crack??? I'll tell you now, the proportion of Aussie men or women, gay or straight, who would take the time to make a Valentine, let alone an extravagantly designed one, would be minuscule!  Most Aussie women would be creeped out if their men folk did and vice versa! The possible exception would be if the person were of an artistic bent and made a quirky or comedic one, done in a tongue-in-cheek vein. Buying one of those teddy bears with a 'Be my Valentine' or 'I love you' on it  (shudder!) among teens and the particularly wet, yeah - a bunch of flowers, box of choccies, and a bought card, maybe.  As to the tradition during the gold rush - personally, I've never heard of this before - any historians out there? Not saying it's not possible, but I've only heard of this now.

  • Did you know that Australian men are more romantic than their female counterparts? An interesting statistic figure states that 58% of men splurge on buying greetings card everywhere as opposed to a thin percentage of just 41% women.

Well, my thinking on this is that men in general tend to be romantics more than women are. They have a tendency to think that love is the universal band-aid, hence the tendency of more than a few of them to not work at relationships once they feel secure and to blame their partners because life in general hasn't dramatically improved for them now they're in love. Women, in general, are more pragmatic (I stress women, not girls) and realise that relationships are constant works in progress and that being in love is not a cure-all. It's also a once-a-year gesture, and an easy one at that - much harder to actually do work on a relationship on a more regular basis. Please note that I said more than a few men, not all men here.

  • Valentine's Day in Australia is the day of the young hearts. A study reveals that 90% of people aged between 18-24 years celebrate Valentine's Day with much zeal then those aged over 50.

This sounds about right, actually. Like I said earlier, it's a fairly recent thing over here.

  • In the contemporary times, sending lovey-dovey emails and e-cards have become the trend. The best part about these online cards is that they are hassle-free, easy to send and often leaves you spoilt for choice with their wide range of availability. The Australians apparently happens to be one of the biggest nations that bet on e-media to express their love.

Once again, sounds about right. We may have crappy internet over here but Aussies use it an awful lot. Besides, free, easy and pretty much instant - perfect for romantic lazy-bones!

Since time immemorial, flowers have been the best means of expressing love, and the Aussies too seem to count a lot on flower power when it comes to showing their sentiments. Just like rest of the world, flowers occupy a central position among V-Day gifts in Australia. So, go ahead and splurge on beautiful February blooms and express your love in a never-before kind of a way.

Or pick up a bunch at the local supermarket or convenience store - it's easy, but hey, at least it shows you're thinking of them! Better yet, do it every now and then for NO reason, other than you think they'd like them - personally, I think that means a lot more.

Valentine's Day in Australia is indeed a big affair. On this day, lovers come together to express the strongest of all emotions - love.

For those of you in the UK, the same site has one on British traditions on Valentine's Day as well:


(hint: one part has Brits writing poems about St Valentine @@)

I'd be interested to know if yours is as full of bulldust as the Aussie one was!


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2014 09:55 am (UTC)
How do folks get by with writing such garbage without first checking their facts? Humph! But, in all fairness to this article, perhaps the writer is of the younger generation? Is it possible that it could be a regional thing? A misinformed American transplant? No? Then perhaps the on-crack theory holds. If anything, it was worth a giggle or two.

As for the bit about school children and classroom projects here in the States, what I've seen them do in more recent years is to send the children home with a complete list of their classmates, informing the parents that if valentines are to be written out, then all students within the classroom are to be included.
Feb. 13th, 2014 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that Valentine's Day activities in schools are more inclusive now. I was just going by friends from the US that told me their tales of woe regarding being excluded and how horrible it was for them.

Kids still do holiday activities over here, but usually they entail making cards for family and decorating the classroom. Valentine's Day is not one of those usually included, though.

The younger ones do celebrate it, but not in any extravagant way over here as a rule. Having a teen who turns 18 in a few weeks, I know it's not as big a deal, even with the young, as it seems to be in the US.

My son and his girlfriend are going to dinner with a group of friends, but only because they have a group voucher for free aqua golf (driving into a man-made lake with targets that win prizes etc) at a big club/resort that has several restaurants in it, so they thought they may as well while they were there... romantic, ain't it? *titter* I'll add this was the girls' sentiments as well as the boys, so all's well and no one was disappointed..
Feb. 16th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
Alas, Lebanon is a pot of so many cultures and so on... we don't have the 8th of march though - international women's day, but the commercial Val's day we have it and celebrate it devoutly.

the price of flowers skyrocket.. something worth a dollar becomes some 10$ during the val's week... they same applies to assorted and high-valued choco like Lindt and cards, teddies, perfume, romantic gadgets....

some youngsters here base their relationships on them... (i don't judge them, media made us such addicts, when i was some teens i was giving a bigger chance to the one giving me a val's gift versus "the stingy one"...
and of course, it is a perfect opportunity for those, who have a 'crush" to express their feared feelings, with a flower/card/choco... if the feeling is not mutual it would dissolve in the sea of gifts too....
Feb. 17th, 2014 04:02 am (UTC)
It seems to be celebrated more and more and mainly amongst the young here due to media marketing and the fact that the young are more influenced by this than we more mature folk. It's still fairly low key though among even the young.

It tends to be the 'tweenies' (older children, not quite teens) who go in for it the most and girls more than boys.

Any holiday that celebrates love can't be all bad though. I like the idea of that, it's mainly the commercialism that annoys me and the message it puts across that you can only express love by material means and if you don't, you don't really love that person.

That's just my personal peeve though, and I hope you had a nice day!
Feb. 16th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
How odd that they would publish an article that is complete rubbish. I’m starting to become so skeptical of things I read anymore.

I do want say, Valentine’s Day in the States isn’t quite as grim as you may think for unpopular kids. I was a big nerd growing up, and I still got tons of Valentines. That’s because it was just the norm to get everybody in your class one. The stores sell them in big packages of 50 cards. I think it actually taught me how to fill out and sign lots of cards at a young age. I always think about it when I’m doing massive Christmas cards. Of course that was years ago. I have no idea what schools do now.

Edited at 2014-02-16 06:26 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2014 04:21 am (UTC)
Toby actually told me the same thing about how it's done in schools in more recent times.

I was going on tales of woe told to me by friends from the US that are now in their 40's and 50's so I must apologise if I came off as harsh or judgemental. I'm glad it's more inclusive than I had imagined it still was. That's what I get for not researching how things are now.

As to the rubbish in the article (which gave me quite a giggle), I've actually seen quite a lot of strange things written about Australian culture of late. I suppose all cultures are subject to trash/filler/fluff journalism at times though.

I find that the art of researching a story seems to be waning with the growth of the internet. I've seen some glaring examples even in supposedly reputable newspapers where journalists have not bothered to verify facts or have relied on dodgy blogs etc. It's often as bad as the old game of Chinese Whispers. (Sorry if the name of the game is not very PC, but I don't know what it's called nowadays.)

This story was, at least, quite funny in a 'roll your eyes' sort of way.

Feb. 17th, 2014 05:02 am (UTC)
Oh sweetie, no need to apologize. I completely understand how Valentine’s Day would sound possibly cruel to unpopular children. Personally I am convinced that the whole Valentine’s thing in the U.S. is just another excuse to make everybody have to go out and buy another greetings card. Every time I turn around, they are inventing a new day to get somebody a card. We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, New Year’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Groundhog Day, Bosses’ Day, Administrative Assistant Day, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Happy Graduation and Happy New Baby. I haven’t even mentioned Christmas yet. lol

And yes I have to agree, if a guy made me an extravagantly designed Valentine, I would think it's creepy too. :D

Edited at 2014-02-17 05:44 am (UTC)
Feb. 18th, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC)
Seems so obviously written by commercial interests.
Couldn't get the link to work to see what they, probably, laughingly reckon goes on here!
Never mind pointless gifts. Just mow the lawn, make the evening meal, do the washing up and commit to doing all these things more often.
And better still just use those 3 words and mean them......I love you, regularly.
Feb. 19th, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
I knew you'd be a man that 'got it'!

A friend once told me that she considered having the lawn mowed, the washing up done and the rubbish put out without her having to ask as the most potent foreplay she could think of. I must say, I tend to agree!

The link to the UK one still worked for me, so I'll post the article for you in the comment underneath so you can have a giggle!
Feb. 19th, 2014 06:28 am (UTC)
Valentine's Traditions In UK
Valentine's Day is celebrated in the memory of Saint Valentine, the Christian martyr who gave his life in the honor of love. King Claudius decapitated Saint Valentine in 269 A.D. for performing illegal marriages of Roman soldiers, who were apparently barred from marrying. Almost two centuries later, in 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius resolved to honor this sacrifice by observing February 14 as a feast day, without little thought or idea on the kind of consequence it would have on the entire world 1,500 years later. Today, Saint Valentine has come to be regarded as the patron of love, and Valentine's Day, the ultimate jubilation for lovers. Valentine's Day, the festival of love, is celebrated across the globe. Flowers, cards, gifts and celebrations are integral parts of this special occasion. Although the celebrations are more or less the same everywhere, some countries have exclusive V-day traditions unique to them. And, U.K is no exception! In Britain, this wonderful day is not only celebrated by youngsters and lovers, but also by the kids. Children sing special songs and are generously rewarded for this. This is also a day to savor special Valentine buns baked with caraway seeds, plums or raisins. Read on to discover more about Valentine's Day tradition in Britain.

Although cards, flowers and chocolates make an indispensable part of V-day celebrations, the British like to celebrate this day in their own unique way. It's a V-day tradition in Britain to pen quixotic verses, lyrics and sonnets as a tribute to the icon of love, Saint Valentine. On this day, all the wild-eyed lovers come together and scribble poetic lines to commemorate the occasion.
Songs are the fun part of all celebrations and a day as special as Valentine's Day is no different. On this day, the English people, especially the kids dole out their favorite romantic tracks or love ballads and are generously rewarded with candies, toys and truffles, in return.
On V-day, the young girls wake up early in the morning, stand near the window, and keep an eye on the people passing by. There is a long-existing belief in Britain that the first man a girl sees on the morning of Valentine's Day is the man meant for her.
There is this legendary belief among the people of U.K. that on 14th of February, i.e. on Valentine's Day, birds come together to find their mates. Thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer, this belief has come to be an indispensable part of Valentine's Day legend today. In certain parts of U.K., Valentine's Day is commemorated as ‘Birds Wedding Day'. It is a custom to eat baked buns topped with caraway seeds, plums and raisins on this day.
In U.K., Valentine's Day marks the end of winter and commencement of spring. Hence, this day is rejoiced with great jubilation. Apart from the customary tradition of penning verses, people exchange cozy moments, cute gifts and cards to bring in the day.

Valentine's traditions in U.K. may vary from the rest of the world. However, that doesn't take away from the people and the celebration its unique appeal and significance.

Some of it may be sort of right like mine was, but I'm sure some of it will be utter bull dung like the one for we Aussies was. I'd be interested to hear your opinion.
Feb. 19th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
Buns, sonnets, first day of Spring!
Send for the men in white coats.
The only one I've heard before is the daft idea that the first man you see will be your beau! and of course the original story of marrying Roman soldiers who were forbidden to wed.
Feb. 19th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
You mean you don't keep a dossier of all of the quixotic poems, sonnets and lyrics you've written over the years honouring St Valentine? LOL!

That's the one that really cracked me up when I read it.

I think I've heard of the first bloke you see thing. I think I read it in a novel as it's not one we really have over here. It's a bit like one we do have over here of putting a piece of wedding cake under your pillow and you'll dream of your future hubby. Both daft and incredibly wet, I agree. I think all that would happen is you'd end up with a squashed piece of cake in your bed and perhaps marzipan in your hair.

And yes, since when is mid February the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere?

I honestly think the author of these piles of excrement is in need of some anti-psychotic medication!

I hope, like me, you got a giggle (in an eye rolling sort of way) out of these articles.
Feb. 19th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
This is the most romantic I could come up with.
I think it's a winner!!!
Roses are red
Carnations are white
I've been to the chemist
How about it tonight.
Feb. 19th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)

You big romantic, you!
Feb. 19th, 2014 01:23 pm (UTC)
Better than Cornish foreplay.
A nudge in the ribs and, 'Awake yet are ee?'
Feb. 19th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
LOL! That's often said to be the Australian way as well!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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