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Valentine's Day 2013


Happy Valentine's Day! This traditional western holiday, dedicated to expressions of love and affection, has grown to be observed in many countries around the globe. As couples exchange traditional gifts of flowers and chocolate, they fuel a robust industry. In the United States alone, Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion this year. Gathered here are images of this Valentine's Day from all around the world, including some scenes of the One Billion Rising campaign, a global collection of flash mobs and protests to raise awareness of violence against women. [27 photos]

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African penguins receive valentines from biologist Crystal Crimbchin at The California Academy of Sciences African penguin exhibit in San Francisco, on February 13, 2013. The valentines will be used as nesting material. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
African penguins receive valentines from biologist Crystal Crimbchin at The California Academy of Sciences African penguin exhibit in San Francisco, on February 13, 2013. The valentines will be used as nesting material. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
An Iraqi man offers a rose petal to a woman during a Valentine's Day rally in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, calling for better public services and for a corruption-free government, on February 14, 2013. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images) #
People walk through "Heartwalk", a Times Square Valentine Heart in New York, on February 12, 2013. The heart was made from boards salvaged from boardwalks from New York and New Jersey that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. (Reuters/Keith Bedford) #
(1 of 4) Mariya Kawae, 30, receives a full-body scan during a workshop ahead of Valentine's Day at KS Design Lab in Tokyo, on February 2, 2013. A chocolate making workshop by KS Design Lab offers classes ahead of Valentine's Day for making personalized gifts, by turning one's face into a chocolate treat for their significant other. (Reuters/Issei Kato) #
(2 of 4) Participants who have received a full-body scan, edit their face data before sending them to a 3D printer during a workshop ahead in Tokyo, on February 2, 2013. The 3D printer produces silicon molds which chocolate is eventually poured into. The workshop is free of charge and attracted close to 20 participants. (Reuters/Issei Kato) #
(3 of 4) Chocolates made in the shapes of participant's faces at a workshop in Tokyo, on February 9, 2013. (Reuters/Issei Kato) #
(4 of 4) Mariya Kawae holds a chocolate made in the shape of her face, using a 3D scan to make a small-scale candy mold, in Tokyo, on February 9, 2013. (Reuters/Issei Kato) #
A worker carries an armload of red roses at Winston Flowers in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 13, 2013, the day before Valentine's Day. According to Winston Flowers, they will deliver 350,000 roses on Valentine's Day. (Reuters/Brian Snyder) #
Divers place plastic letters in a post box set up at a depth of 18 meters (19 ft) on the bottom of the sea off the coast of Ito, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, on February 3, 2013. Many female divers visited the underwater post box as they dropped their love letters to their boyfriends or spouses for the upcoming Valentine's Day. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images) #
Couples compete during the "Kiss on the Ice" contest to share the longest kiss on the eve of the Valentine's Day in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on February 13, 2013. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
A bride poses for a photo at the Registry of Marriages at Fort Canning, on February 14, 2013 in Singapore. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images) #
A boy stands with his father with a rose placed on his belt while they shop for gifts on Valentine's Day in Sanaa, Yemen, on February 14, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi) #
Rose Natividad, left, reacts as a singer, hired by her partner who is working for a cruise liner overseas, serenades her as a surprised Valentine's Day gift to her at her office in Manila, Philippines, on February 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) #
A Pakistani youth poses for a picture taken by his friend in front of a big valentine made of flowers on Valentine's Day, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on February 14, 2013. Romance may not be dead in Pakistan but it is under attack. Conservatives in Pakistan are attacking the romantic holiday as a western-inspired event helping to spread vulgarity in their country and putting up posters calling on people to boycott the holiday. But romantics are fighting back with an arsenal of flowers, pink teddy bears and heart-shaped balloons. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #
Students and Roman Catholic nuns of St. Scholastica's College, an all-girls' school, dance to kickoff a global campaign dubbed One Billion Rising on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of women and children in various cities in the country danced in the streets, in malls and other places to express support for the One Billion Rising Campaign to end violence against women and children around the world. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) #
Bosnian people mark Valentine's Day, dancing as they participate in One Billion Rising campaign for women's rights action in Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, on February 14, 2013. Crowds gathered in central squares in various cities in Bosnia and in 200 other countries around the World as part of the campaign's day of action. (AP Photo/Amel Emric) #
Participants dance during one of the One Billion Rising Movement dancing events in Hong Kong, on February 14, 2013. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images) #
Activists dance in an event to support the One Billion Rising global campaign in New Delhi, India,on February 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
A woman holding a heart-shaped balloon walks with her partner in a residential area for migrant workers on Valentine's Day in Beijing, on February 14, 2013. (Reuters/Jason Lee) #
Madame Tussauds launched the new George Clooney waxwork ahead of Valentine's Day at Carnaby Street on February 13, 2013 in London, England. (Tim Whitby/Getty Images) #
Krittirak Chaikham, left, and Kanokwan Arjkidkorn compete in the World's Longest Continuous Kiss Competition in Pattaya, Thailand, on February 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) #
(1 of 3) Thai groom Prasit Rangsiyawong, and his bride Varuttaon Rangsiyawong, fly while attached to cables during a wedding ceremony ahead of Valentine's Day in Prachin Buri province, on February 13, 2013. Three Thai couples took part in an adventure-themed wedding ceremony arranged by a Thai resort that aimed to strengthen the relationships of the couples by doing fun activities. (Reuters/Kerek Wongsa) #
(2 of 3) Thai grooms and their brides (from left) Sorawich Changtor, Rungnapa Panla, Varuttaon Rangsiyawong, and Prasit Rangsiyawong, run from an oncoming floral boulder during an adventure-themed wedding ceremony in Prachin Buri province, on February 13, 2013. (Reuters/Kerek Wongsa) #
(3 of 3) Thai groom Sopon Sapaotong and his bride Chutima Imsuntear jump into a pond during a wedding ceremony ahead of Valentine's Day, on February 13, 2013. (Reuters/Kerek Wongsa) #
Alaskan sea otter "Yutan" holds a heart-shaped piece of ice given to him by his keeper at the aquarium at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise amusement park in Yokohama, on February 11, 2013. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images) #
Daniel Rosenthal and Laurie Ann Phillips pose for photographers on top of the Empire State Building after their Valentine's Day wedding in New York City, on February 14, 2013. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton) #
Fortunato and Maddalena Corso, a Bensonhurst couple married for 72 years, photographed in their home in New York, on February 13, 2013. The couple met in Calabria, Italy, and married on February 4, 1941. On Thursday they'll be honored by Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitz in a celebration of couples married 50 years or more. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) #

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