5 weird courtship traditions you′ve probably never heard of | Culture | Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 22.05.2018

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5 weird courtship traditions you've probably never heard of

Love isn't what it used be, especially in the age of Tinder and online dating when relationships begin and end with a text message. From love letters to May trees, here are a few age-old ways of expressing love.

Internet dating is the death of romantic love. Flirting, exchanging shy looks, and stuttering awkward words seem to be a thing of the past. Modern singles browse through dating websites and apps — while forgetting the complicated, but romantic ways in which lovers once used to find each other.

The internet has replaced tradition

If you were searching for love in Finland, for example, you would follow an ancient tradition. In the early morning hours, you would climb up a hill, listening to the winds. Your future lover, so it was believed, would come from the direction in which you heard the first sound. Today, people in Finland don't climb up hills anymore. It seems easier to log on to Tinder.

The custom of resorting to daisies for advice in love was once widespread across Europe. People would say "he loves me, he doesn't love me" while plucking petals to find out if the object of their affection shared their feelings.

Today, people stare at their mobile instead, counting the number of "likes" to find out who "loves me, or loves me not."

Love letters for Juliet

Something that, hopefully, will never be out of fashion are love letters. A hopeful sign is the fact that more than 10,000 love letters are being written in the Italian city of Verona each year. The authors are tourists visiting what has been billed as Juliet's balcony in order to leave their letters at the door of Shakespeare's famous heroine. Like in the good old days, these letters express either sorrow and desperation, or love and hope.

If you want to find out more about some almost forgotten European love traditions, take a look at our High Five ranking by clicking through the gallery above. 

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