In the province of Padua, Italy, a metal key known as Saint Valentine’s key is gifted to one’s love as a romantic symbol and invitation to ‘unlock the giver’s heart’ on Valentine’s Day. In Denmark, friends and sweethearts exchange pressed white flowers (called snowdrops) instead of the typical red roses. In Norfolk, England, children anxiously await for Jack Valentine to leave candies and small gifts on their porches. And in the Philippines, mass wedding ceremonies have become tradition, with thousands of couples sharing a wedding day on February 14.
In Korea, variations of the holiday are celebrated monthly from February through April, with women wooing their men on February 14 with typically chocolate, candies and flowers; the men return the favor on March 14 (White Day); and singles mourning their solidarity status on April 14 (Black Day) over dark bowls of black bean-paste noodles (jajangmyeon).
All around the world, it has become typical for people to celebrate Valentine’s Day – or at least be familiar with the culture of love exchange. Celebrated on the 14th of February each year, Valentine’s Day (also known as Feast of Saint Valentine) is a day when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship for each other.
But have you showed your love and appreciation for Mother Earth?
She needs neither roses nor chocolates, nor candies nor gifts – a simple act of kindness is all that matters. About 71% of the Earth’s surface is water, but this water will run out one day – new NASA data shows how the world is running out of water.
On this day of love and kindness, could you perhaps take a moment to reflect on your water saving habits and make a water pledge? Here’s mine:
Dear Mother Earth,
I pledge to reuse the rinse water from the washing machine for cleaning the floor or flushing the toilet. I will take short showers and turn off the water while I shampoo and soap myself. I will wash the dishes in a filled sink instead of letting the water run. I will not let the water run while washing my hands.
Every drop matters. For if everyone was to save just one drop, we will be easily able to fill up an Olympic-sized pool. It’s really easier than you think, and ultimately, water saving is everyone’s responsibility. Now, have you said your water pledges?
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers!
By Vivian Tan
Image Credit: Boston Magazine