Ask anyone around you what comes to mind when she thinks of Valentine’s Day and she’ll likely list off some combination of roses, red-and-pink everything, chocolates, and candle-lit dinners. These traditional symbols of the designated day of romance have been instilled in our minds practically from birth.But that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone else in the world. While love is the central theme on almost anywhere you go, the way that love is — or isn’t — celebrated varies widely from country to country.BrazilBrazilians actually celebrate romance on June 12, with Dia dos Namorados, or “Lovers’ Day.” Some say this date was chosen because February 14 conflicts with Brazil’s famed Carnival celebration; others say it was chosen because June 12 is the day before Saint Anthony (the marriage saint) day. Whatever the reason, Brazilians still make sure to shower each other with flowers, chocolate and affection to honor their amores. According to, single women often write names of different men on paper scraps and fold them up the night before Dia dos Namorados; the next morning, they open one scrap and whoever’s name is on it is the man they will marry.FranceThe most romantic country in the world had a highly controversial Valentine’s Day custom. The French used to celebrate the day by taking part in a now-banned custom called “drawing for.”  The tradition gatherefd unmarried men and women in houses facing each other, and people would call names of those they desired through the windows, then pair off accordingly. In theory, it was romantic. In practice, there were some problems. If a man didn’t like the Valentine he ended up with, he could simply desert her, leading — not surprisingly — to anger. The scorned woman would then gather at night to build a bonfire, burn images of and curse the men. Now that the practice is banned in France, the country celebrates in a bit more festive manner: With a festival in the village of St. Valentine, that takes place from February 12th to 14th.JapanIn Japan, you won’t see any men gifting their ladies with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Rather, the tradition is for the women to shower the men with sweet gifts. Two types of chocolate dominate the holiday: “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate) is gifted to friends, colleagues, bosses and platonic male friends, while “Honmei-choco” is reserved for boyfriends, lovers, or husbands. We are sure these ladies are careful to get it right! Though the treats are available pre-made in stores, many women choose to make them themselves in what they believe is a sign of true love. But don’t worry—it isn’t a totally thankless act. A month later, on “White Day,” men return the love with gifts of their own — often, appropriately, white chocolate.READ MORE: Valentine’s Day Chocolates That Are Actually Good For YouSouth KoreaSouth Korea, like Japan, begins the celebrations with women gifting men, who then return the love a month later on White Day. But, this country also adds in a day just for those cynical singletons out there: Black Day. On April 14th, those who didn’t give or get romantic chocolates and gifts in the prior months get together to eat black noodles called jajangmyeon noodles, often wearing black while they’re at it. Well, that sounds rather emo.GermanyThough Germany doesn’t place as much commercial importance on Valentine’s Day as other countries (ahem, America), Deutschland doesn’t completely bypass the holiday either. In a gesture similar to many other countries, Germans often give sweet gifts in the form of large, heart-shaped gingerbread cookies, decorated with loving frosted messages. But hearts take a backseat to the far more interesting symbol of love in Germany: a pig. That’s right: That muddy, snorting animal represents both luck and lust. Because of that, lovers are known to gift each other with pigs (primarily stuffed or drawn, it seems] holding flowers, offering chocolates and otherwise declaring their love.ScotlandSimilarly to Brazil, one Scottish custom involves writing names of loved ones on folded scraps of paper.  In Scotland, however, both men and women take part. During Valentine’s Day celebrations, both sexes gather, write names on paper, and drop them in separate hats (one for men; one for women). Individuals then draw names out of the hats to determine who their valentines will be for the evening.TaiwanIn Taiwan, like America, roses rule Valentine’s Day. But the Taiwanese tradition is a bit more complex than simply picking up a dozen roses and giving them to a loved one. The number of roses given holds significance and certain numbers send very specific messages. Receiving one rose means a simple “only love,” while 11 roses mean “favorite,” and 108 are an unspoken proposal to “marry me.” Just imagine how many mixed messages could be avoided with a clear-cut system like this one! READ MORE: The Only Valentine’s Day Movie Watchlist You Need