Around the World in Valentine’s Day

Did you know that, in Finland, Valentine’s Day is an occasion for celebrating friendship, and not just romantic love?

No, we didn’t, either, until our Operations Manager Paul showed us the fabulous pair of hand-knitted socks he’d received through the post as a Valentine’s gift from a Finnish printing company that produces some of our company’s books.

Was it, he wondered, a special tradition in Finland to give socks on Valentine’s Day?

We couldn’t resist doing a bit of digging, and here’s what we found. In Finland, Valentine’s Day is called ystävänpäivä – literally Friends’ Day – and the idea is to celebrate friendship in all its forms. It’s the second-biggest season for sending greetings cards in the country; in 2015, around three million were sent!

Groups of friends share meals all across Finland, and activities like bowling, skating and sledging are also enjoyed. It means no-one need feel left out on the day, whatever their relationship status.

The specific giving of socks doesn’t seem to be a tradition, as far as we can tell, but Paul’s Finnish friends, knowing he spends a great deal of every Scottish winter on the sidelines of a freezing rugby pitch, chose an extremely thoughtful gift to express their thanks for his friendship!

Did you know we do a digital edition? Great for overseas fans of The People’s Friend! Click here to go to our subscription page to find out more. 


Spreading the love goes beyond Valentine’s Day, join in on our Random Act of Kindness Day challenge 

Karlie Simmonds

Karlie has worked in Digital Media for over 10 years, she is passionate about health and wellbeing and lives in Edinburgh with her partner, children, and Pug, Poppy.