Valentine's Day trivia or not-so trivia

Cultural anthropologists have described and analyzed holidays as windows into local culture as well as indexes of larger global processes. As far as I know, Christmas is the only holiday so far that has generated an entire edited volume. A quick search into published work by cultural anthropologists yielded very little. One insightful article, by a journalism/communications scholar, talks about the creation of Valentine’s Day in Ghana.

Assortment of Valentines Day chocolates. Credit: ccharmon/Flickr
Assortment of Valentine's Day chocolates. Credit: ccharmon/Flickr

Valentine’s Day is rapidly globalizing but not without resistance and reformulation, as the links below illustrate. Is it a Hallmark card event? Maybe a card is required but that may not get you very far. Chocolates? Cut flowers? Dinner out? And who pays? What’s the short-term result on Feb 14 and the longer-term effects?

It’s so decadent: Iran bans Valentine’s Day

More decadent: Valentine’s Day as focal point of culture “East-West” culture clash?

The price of love: price of roses up in China

More: cut flower shortage in Malaysia

Show the love in the US: nearly 150 million cards will be exchanged on Valentine’s Day along with chocolate, flowers and candy

Love everywhere: 10 best places in the world to propose marriage

What’s love got to do with it?: the effects of Valentine’s Day on relationships

Better than brushing?: kissing may prevent tooth decay

Who do you want to be with on Valentine’s Day?: global poll says 1 in 5 prefer to spend Feb. 14 with their pet

But, let’s draw the line: kissing your dogs and cats may have health implications

Valentine’s Day in India: the younger generation in India loves the concept of Valentine’s Day, yet there are many political groups who condemn it as an alien concept

Single on Valentine’s Day?: in Malaysia and Russia religious authorities are attempting to crack down on the decadent Western celebration of couples “being gross with each other”

The seventh eve: celebrating love in China

Back to basics: love and the color red

Back to even more basics: chocolate is good for the brain

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