Before Valentine’s Day became the mass-marketed consumer frenzy holiday that it is today, it had its roots in ancient Roman history and traditions. There are varying accounts of how it all began, but the most-popular story claims that the holiday can be traced back to the Roman Emperor Claudius II.
- In Mexico, February 14th is celebrated as the “Día de San Valentin,” but it’s more commonly referred to as “El Día del Amor y la Amistad,” the “day of love and friendship.” While people also commonly give flowers, candies and balloons to their romantic partners, it is also a day to show appreciation for your friends. It is a time for people to show appreciation to the people they care about in general.
- Brazilians celebrate their ‘Dia dos Namorados’ (day of lovers) not in February but on June 12th. This is the day before Saint Anthony’s Day, commonly known as the saint of partnership and marriage. Traditionally in Brazil the single women will perform rituals known as ‘simpatias’ on the ‘dia dos namorados’ to help them find a boyfriend or husband. This includes the writing of names of eligible bachelors on little pieces of paper the night before, folding them up, and then choosing one and opening it the following morning to determine which one they should pursue for marriage.
- The people of Guatemala celebrate a similar holiday on the 14th of February, but is known there as the “Día del Cariño.” Guatemalans exchange sentimental goodies just like in the United States, but it is a broader holiday as well and encourages people to show their love for friends and co-workers too.
- In Peru, a common gift exchanged on Valentine’s Day is a bunch of beautiful native orchids. Here, Valentine’s Day occurs at the same time as Carnival and various other festivals going on throughout the country which led the government to declare February 13th and 14th as public holidays, making it an even more special occasion.
- Argentina and Chile both share the same tradition of celebrating ‘El Dia de los Enamorados’, ‘the day of those in love’, where partners declare their love for one another and celebrate their union.
- Colombia, for example, celebrates Valentine’s Day on September 20th when it popular to send gifts from secret admirers. Bolivia also favors September by celebrating the “Día del Amor” on September 21st in conjunction with Students’ Day, Day of Spring and Children’s Day.
- Bolivians also celebrate their ‘Día del Amor’ (‘day of love’) in September, in conjunction with Student’s Day, Children’s Day and Day of Spring.
Wherever you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, have a cup of good coffee and share your day with a loved one!
Happy Valentine’s Day from all the Aficionados at Guayabera Culture.