Photo Release -- Celebrated Worldwide Valentine's Day Customs Are as Varied as the Cultures

Baci Heart

EDISON, N.J., Jan. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Looking to start a new tradition this Valentine's Day? If so, consider sending Perugina Baci. While the tradition of sharing Baci began in Italy, they are now widely available in the U.S. and endure as a symbol of love around the world.

Baci Perugina Valentine's Day Chocolate


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=23237

Love is a universal theme and many cultures have special days to commemorate this sentiment. In the United States, February 14, commonly known as Valentine's Day, is celebrated by the exchange of sentimental cards, boxed chocolates and flowers. Many other cultures have a day of love and whether it falls on February 14th or another day, the practice of how it's celebrated is as varied as the cultures who celebrate.

Perugina's exquisite heart-shaped gift boxes are available in two varieties: filled with Baci Dark or Baci White chocolates. Can't decide --- send one of each! In addition, you can create a personalized Baci love note and send it to your loved one at www.perugina.com.

Valentine's Day traditions from around the world:

ITALY

"Baci" is the Italian word for "kisses." It is also the name of the confections that have been produced for over ninety years in Perugia, Italy near the historic home of St. Valentine. Italians traditionally celebrate Valentine's Day by sharing a Bacio (singular) with the one they admire. Created by Perugina, Italy's legendary chocolatier, each Bacio starts with a heart of gianduia (whipped chocolate filling blended with finely chopped hazelnuts) crowned with a whole hazelnut and enrobed in Perugina's Luisa dark chocolate. Or try new Baci white, enrobed in Perugina's premium, creamy white chocolate.

According to legend, Baci were created by Perugina's founding partners who expressed their sentiments for each other by passing hidden love notes in the wrappings to keep their love affair a secret. To this day, every Bacio is wrapped with a love note written in five languages.

JAPAN

In Japan, Valentine's Day is the opposite of Western cultures with women honoring their men by showering them with gifts, especially chocolate. The Japanese also celebrate White Day (March 14), a holiday that allows men to reciprocate to those who gave them gifts on Valentine's Day. This custom is also followed in South Korea and Taiwan.

WALES

January 25th is the Welsh equivalent of Valentine's Day and is known as St. Dwynwen's Day, the patron saint of lovers. It is also customary for men to give their women love-spoons, a tradition that began years ago when sailors carved intricately decorated spoons of wood and presented them to those they were courting.

DENMARK & NORWAY

Valentine's Day is a more recent custom here with men penning special notes of love called "Gaekkebrev." The notes are sent to women and the only clues provided by the sender are dots that represent the number of letters in his name. Women who guess the identity of their admirer correctly are rewarded with an Easter egg in spring.

CONTACT: Amy Stern (973) 744-0707 Amy.Stern@bhgpr.comSource: Perugina