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Celebrating Valentine’s Day the Asian Way

A smiling Asian woman.
Any Asian woman will appreciate your efforts as long as they're from the heart.

It’s easy to plan for a memorable Valentine’s celebration for your Asian girlfriend. You buy her gifts, prepare a meal for her, take her somewhere romantic, and hope her family won’t mind. Crazy as it sounds, but yes, you need her family’s approval first.

Asians are known for their conservative disposition. They don’t give in easily, especially in matters that involve love, marriage, and family. But the beautiful thing about them is how they can give their whole heart to the right person.

Women from Asia ideally put their culture, traditions, and beliefs above all else. That being said, dating a woman from the West is a far cry from dating someone born and raised in Asia.

Over the past decades, celebrating the day of hearts has become a cultural projection. If you’re from the West, you’re likely to spend the day going on a date with your significant other alone. And if you’re a Southeast Asian, chances are, you’ll be with your family and friends for the day.

Although it is a widely acknowledged holiday, how it is celebrated differs from one culture to another. And if you’re going to spend it with an Asian woman this year, you need to know a few things.

In Thailand, visiting the Trimurti Shrine on Valentine’s Day is part of a long-practiced tradition.

Here, they give their offerings, along with their prayers for love and wishes for good luck. They take a handful of red roses with them as well, so much that it’s enough to cover the shrine by the end of the day.

Thailand transforms into a dreamy place as its surroundings are adorned with red and pink ribbons, flowers, and heart-shaped trimmings. And to add to the lovely atmosphere, love songs are played everywhere, and you can practically hear them no matter where you are!

Haven’t come up with a date plan yet?

Ditch your go-to Valentine’s dinner date idea by taking her shopping instead. On this day, malls have a wide sale. And if you feel hungry after a day’s worth of spree, enjoy a hearty meal at restaurants that offer a holiday discount.

For dessert, visit the nearest ice cream parlor and enjoy the special flavors they serve, exclusive for Valentine’s.

If you’re leaning towards a more romantic date, go on a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River. Take in the scenic view of the city at night as you bond over a candlelit meal and a bottle of wine.

A couple dancing in the woods.
Valentine's celebration in most Asian countries isn't complete without the presence of family.

China celebrates Valentine’s Day on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese calendar, also known as the Qixi Festival or Double Seventh Festival

It falls on a different day each year on the Gregorian calendar. The origin of the festival centers on the romantic yet tragic myth of a pair of star-crossed lovers who were only allowed to see each other once a year.

Chinese Valentine’s Day is symbolic to newly married couples. They give their offerings and prayers to ensure they’ll have a happy married life in the future. Aside from this, single women who wish to find their ideal husband traditionally offer food, fruits, and prayers of hope.

Despite the cultural roots of the holiday in China, most Chinese people have adapted to the Western way of celebrating Valentine’s Day as it gained popularity to the younger generation. Some of the most common gifts given on Valentine’s are flowers, chocolates, and a dinner at a fancy restaurant.

Valentine’s Day is a Commercial Holiday in the Philippines.

Although it’s not declared as an official holiday in the country, Valentine’s Day mood is felt everywhere when you’re in the Philippines. Malls, coffee shops, parks, and other places of leisure are decorated with Valentine’s Day-themed cutouts, stickers, and even posters.

Prices of cakes, candies, cookies, and other baked pastries sold in large quantities reach an all-time high, as well as flowers and chocolates. At the same time, restaurants, beach resorts, cinemas, and hotels are jam-packed with couples and families who celebrate the occasion.

So if you’re planning to go somewhere with your special someone, be sure to make a reservation at least a month before Valentine’s Day to avoid canceled plans.

Another way of knowing that it’s the season of love in the Philippines is when you see public confessions and proposals appearing everywhere. Lovers declare their love for each other in front of a hundred people as they ask their significant others for their highly anticipated yes.

The significance of Valentine’s Day is also seen as a religious and meaningful event for couples who decide to get married on the same day. You’ll find private weddings take place here and there. But the most beautiful thing is the mass weddings.

They are usually organized by municipalities and local towns and are solely for couples who can’t afford to wed on their own. They are free of charge, which means you don’t need to prepare anything, just your partner and your vows – and maybe, your IDs.

At the end of the day, being thankful for each other is the purest form of celebrating the season of love.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re physically together or dating as a long-distance couple because genuine love is not hindered, not even by distance. Relationships go way beyond just extravagant gifts and lavish dates. You also need compatibility and effort to make it work and last.

A photo of a woman on a phone.
All you need is love, trust, and understanding to survive being a long-distance couple.

When you’re with the right person, you don’t need to worry about not giving her what most men would do because a true partner won’t ever make you feel bad for not providing enough.

Lean into the more meaningful aspects of your relationships and turn your focus to them. Build a healthy and fulfilling partnership together by addressing your issues and problems the right way.

You may not see each other anytime you want to, and you may only be kissing her through the screen and sending her virtual hugs over the computer. Regardless, you can always come up with sweet things to do in a long distance relationship as long as you’re sincere and creative enough.

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