Celebrating Valentine’s Day,or El Día del Amor y la Amistad as it is known in Mexico,is a big deal for people in love of all ages every year on February 14. Translated to mean “the day of love and friendship,” in Mexico this popular holiday has been infused with new traditions and original ideas about how to let someone know you care.
“Everyone can take part in Mexican Valentine’s Day celebrations,because it’s not just for lovers,it’s also for friends,” writes Oaxaca-based Mexico travel writer Suzanne Barbezat for About Travel.com. “It’s a time for people to show appreciation for the people they care about – this way,there’s no reason to feel left out if you don’t have a significant other.”
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As in the U.S.,many people give flowers,candy,lingerie,jewelry and perfume to loved ones on Valentine’s Day,while others may write poetry,plan a special meal or buy a custom-made balloon from a street vendor. These vendors spring up all over town in Mexico’s biggest cities and most popular destinations,along with its many smaller villages. Balloons are adorned with heartfelt declarations of love in Spanish,such as Te Amo (I love you),Para mi amor (for my love) and Felicidades (congratulations).
If you’re ever lucky enough to be in Mexico on Valentine’s Day and want to go out for a candlelit meal with your beloved,make sure to plan far in advance and make your reservation a few weeks early because it’s common for couples of all ages to dine out on this special day. This year will likely be even more this way,since Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Saturday.
Other ways to enjoy El Día del Amor y la Amistad in Mexico include taking time for a serenade,going for a walk holding hands on the beach,planning a zip line tour or giving paddle boarding a try. Of course,your hotel or resort’s spa probably offers couples massages as well,or cuddle up in a hammock built for two while watching the sunset.
In Mexico,Valentine’s Day is not a national public holiday,but it is a popularly observed day of celebration. Although the exact origins of El Día del Amor y la Amistad is unknown,it is believed to be based on a story about St. Valentine,a Roman priest who was martyred around February 14 in the year 270 CE. But even though the Europeans imported the tradition of celebrating Valentine’s Day to Mexico by the Europeans,people throughout the country have embraced the tradition and,as in the U.S.,many retailers start to go “red” as February approaches,with shop windows and displays everywhere advertising ways to say “I love you!”
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year? Share your ideas with other readers in the comments section below!