Singapore has adopted many foreign observances over the years, and Saint Valentine’s Day is among them. This is no great surprise, given the immense cultural diversity of the city-state of Singapore. Valentine’s Day is not an official public holiday here, but it is still a fun day for many.
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As Valentine’s Day often comes around the time of Chinese New Year, it is somewhat immersed into that celebration and virtually becomes a part of it here in Singapore. It is popular to go out for special, romantic dinners, give gifts or red flowers and exchange Valentine’s cards. Others spend their evening at home or in night clubs, while many ignore the observance completely.
The symbols of Valentine’s Day include Cupid, the Roman god of love, with his bow and arrow ready to strike the heart of his “victims” with lovesickness. Pink and red hearts also figure prominently.
One tradition of unmarried young women casting a mandarin orange into the Singapore River at night is seen as closely connected with Valentine’s Day even if it comes on the 15th day of Chinese New Year and not necessarily on 14 February.