St Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and, as well as sending a card or gift, it’s seen by many as the perfect time for a romantic break with your loved one. However, not all countries celebrate on February 14th, with many marking their own romantic days at different times of the year. Here Windmill Lodges, who offer romantic log cabin weekend breaks in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, outline a few of the more unusual ones.
Here they celebrate their equivalent to Valentine’s Day on the seventh day of the seventh month of their lunar calendar (which is different to the UK’s). This is usually some time in August (this year it’s on August 22).
It is called the Qixi Festival and its history goes back more than 2,000 years, being traced back to an ancient Chinese folk tale about a weaver girl and a cowherd, who were forbidden to meet by her mother but still met up once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.
The custom is still observed in rural areas, where women dress up in Hanfu, traditional Chinese clothing that consists of a long flowing robe with loose sleeves and a belt at the waist. The women spend the day preparing offerings of tea, wine, flowers, and various fruits. Later in the night, the women will gather around and compete with each other on threading a needle.
Like in China, their equivalent of Valentine’s Day depends on the lunar calendar. In Hong Kong, it’s on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. The Spring lantern festival (which is also celebrated in China) is celebrated with a variety of events including parades, music, and, of course, plenty of lanterns down the streets and on the rivers.
One of the biggest components is love and marriage, in the original lantern festivals matchmaking was an important aspect since single people were among those who carried lit lanterns through the streets at night. Today, one of the traditions is for couples to visit a temple and pray to “Yue Lao,” the mythological god of marriage and love.
In Israel they also celebrate their equivalent to Valentine’s Day in August. The date of Tu B’av also varies, with it taking place this year on August 1-2. It is a minor Jewish holiday which celebrates love and marriage.
Its origins go back to biblical times when, to mark the start of the grape harvest, young single girls would dress up in white garments loaned to them and dance in the vineyard for potential suitors. Today, Tu B’Av is considered to be a great day for weddings, proposals, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies.
Brazilians celebrate love much as we do in the UK and much of the western world, just on a different date and involving a different saint. Dia dos Namorados, or Lover’s Day, is observed on June 12, the eve of St Anthony’s Day. Saint Anthony is their patron saint of marriage. However, some say it’s celebrated in June so that it doesn’t overlap with any carnival celebrations.
Here they celebrate their day of love 10 days after the conventional Valentine’s Day. It is named after Dragobete, the son of the main character in a Pagan myth relating to the arrival of spring and the time that birds begin building their nests and get ready to mate. To mark the day, Romanians traditionally gather together and exchange flowers.
Romantic Log Cabin Weekend Breaks in Suffolk at Windmill Lodges
Just as other countries celebrate love and romance at different times of the year, Windmill Lodges is a place perfect for a romantic getaway all year round. It is also a great location for a birthday treat, a wedding anniversary or a family holiday.
The peace and solitude of the Suffolk countryside, coupled with all the facilities we offer (including your own private hot tub) mean you can really get away from it all.
Chaffinch Lodge is our one-bed lodge (there is also room for one child as well), but we also have a range of larger cabins (including two pet-friendly ones, Woodpecker and Wagtail). All our East Anglia lodges have plenty of facilities, including fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms, and all are either rated as either 4* or 5* accommodation.