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Love shows its face around the world in many ways and there are some peculiar love rituals to wow your Valentine. Red roses are very safe, so is perfume and chocolates; all very nice to give or receive but if you want to stand out maybe you should seek inspiration in the love traditions of one of these countries.

France

Nothing more romantic than expressing your love to someone by locking it up… Symbolically speaking. 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, preferably in the river below while you vow to love each other forever.How romantic! Less romantic was its effect: In Paris the Pont des Art bridge was on the verge of collapse under the weight of so much padlocks and they had to take safety measures. But the padlocks keep coming, from over the whole world nowadays. And other countries have followed suit with their own padlock love customs.

Pont des Arts

Austria

From the country of lederhosen and Käsespätzle, both not very attractive to look at to say the least, comes another weird courting tradition. We have to add that it is no longer in demand due to apparent reasons but it was the way to go in 19th century Austria for girls to find out if men were interested.

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 gusto. If not, he would politely decline. Not sure if you should try this at home unless you like the taste of sweaty armpits. In a modern version you could opt for homemade strudel. After all, the way to someone’s heart often goes through the stomach. One tip though, don’t cook it under your armpits.

Austria Folk Dance

Niger

In Niger it is the men who wear make-up and dance to attract attention from the opposite sex. The Geerewol is a male beauty contest for the Wodaabe tribes men of the Niger desert to impress young women and secure a potential bride. If the young man does not gets noticed and picked by the female “judges”, it takes at least another year before he can dance and show his beauty again. If you’re a man we suggest you skip the make up part but showing your moves could be very attractive, if you know how to, that is. Watch the video about the Geerewol below:

Germany

The Bräutigamseiche in Lübeck hides a love story that inspired the ritual of sending love letters to this 500 year old oak tree. The story in short: 1891. Boy and girl are madly in love and talk about marriage. Father doesn’t like it. Boy and girl communicate by using the tree as a hidden mailbox for their love letters. Long story short: the father eventually gives in and allows daughter to marry boy which they do under the leafy carpet of the tree. This romantic story still inspires people today to send their love letters to Lubeck. Your love letter will actually be delivered to the tree and are free to read by anyone who visits. After opening one you can even take it home with you. So if you have a secret love or need to vent your emotions, send it on to this address: Bräutigamseiche Dodauer Forst, 23701 Eutin, Germany

Bräutigamseiche Tree Germany

Turkey

Nahil
In Istanbul,Turkey, people practice a ritual at the beginning of Summer which involves the Nahil, or wish tree. Many couples write their romantic wishes on colorful 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.

Nahil Wishing Tree Turkey

Cyprus

If you find yourself in the neighborhood 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 this is where legend says, 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 paused to have a drink of water while hunting. 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. Ahhh, if only making someone fall in love was this easy…

Aphrodites Grotto Cyprus

Italy

Oh there is plenty of love to be found at the Trevi Fountain in Rome! That is, when you have some money to spare. Don’t worry, you won’t have to rob a bank, simply throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain and make a wish. One coin means you’ll visit Rome again. Throw two coins and your sure to have a new romance in waiting. And 3 coins will result in marriage. Oh my, it’s worth a try, don’t you think?

Trevi Fountain Rome

Ireland

In Ireland the ritual can be very simple if you can secure a four leaf clover. All you need to do is find one, here is a challenge alright, and then eat it while thinking of the man of your dreams. Legend states that your dream guy will be yours eventually.

We wish you good luck with finding that clover and in the end of course with finding your true love!

Four leaf clover

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