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Love shows its face around the world in many ways and there are some extraordinary love rituals that you probably never even heard about. Are you in need of inspiration for a Valentine’s Day gift or do you perhaps want to show your love in a different way? Do something meaningful to let your love know they are special. We’ve collected the most wonderful love rituals from around the world for a little Valentine’s Day inspiration.

FRANCE

There’s nothing more romantic than expressing your love to someone by locking it up. It came into fashion a couple of years ago in Paris: attaching a padlock to the fence of a bridge or other monumental object with your names and throwing away the key, while you vow to love each other forever. How romantic! Less romantic was its effect: The Pont des Art bridge was on the verge of collapse under the weight of the amount of padlocks, so they had to take safety measures and remove the padlocks. This precaution didn’t stop this love ritual; couples still come to The City of Love to immortalize there love.

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AUSTRIA

From the country of lederhosen and Käsespätzle comes another courting tradition. Girls would dance the night away while carrying an apple in their armpits. At the end of the night a slice of the sweaty apple was offered to the men they desired. If the interest was mutual, Mr. Eligible would eat it with delight. If not, he would politely decline. We have to add that it is no longer in demand, but it was the way to go in 19th century Austria for girls to find out if men were interested. In a modern version you could opt for homemade strudel. After all, the way to someone’s heart often goes through the stomach.

GERMANY

The Bridegroom’s Oak in the Dodauer Forest hides a love story that inspired the ritual of sending love letters to a special 500 year old oak tree. The story originates from 1891 and goes in a nutshell like this: A boy and a girl are madly in love and they talk about marriage, but the girls’ father doesn’t approve. The couple stays in touch by using a hole in a tree as a hidden mailbox for their love letters. Eventually the father gives in and allows daughter to marry him, which they did under the leafy carpet of the tree.

This romantic story still inspires people today to send their love letters to the Dodauer Forest. Your love letter will actually be delivered to the tree and are free to read by anyone who visits. So if you have a secret love or need to vent your emotions, send your letter to this address: Bräutigamseiche Dodauer Forest, 23701 Eutin, Germany

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TURKEY

In Istanbul people practice a ritual at the beginning of summer which involves the Nahil, or a wish tree. Many couples write their romantic wishes on colourful tags before tying them to the branches of the tree at the annual Hidrellez festival. Hizir, an old bearded Saint and also considered the prophet of spring, is believed to come down from heaven and grant the wishes. You’ll have to travel to Istanbul to see if it works, but there are worse places to travel to, we imagine.

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CYPRUS

If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, drop by and boost your romantic vibes in this natural pool grotto surrounded in greenery. The site is at the end of a small nature trail and it’s where according to the legend, Aphrodite (the Goddess of Love) used to bathe. Myth also has it that this is where Aphrodite met her lover, the handsome Adonis, when he took a break from hunting to have some water. The moment he consumed the water, Adonis fell in love with the goddess. So lure your potential lover to Cyprus and have him drink the water from this natural source. If only making someone fall in love was this easy…

IRELAND

In Ireland this love ritual can be very simple: you’ll only need a four leaved clover. Finding one may be a bit of a challenge, but once you find it, you should eat it while thinking of the man of your dreams. Legend states that your Prince Charming will be yours eventually. We wish you good luck with finding that clover and of course with finding your true love!

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