valentine's day

Valentine’s Day in Latin America

People celebrate Valentine’s Day worldwide. Although its origin dates back to the Roman Empire, now it has become very popular. So everyone is looking forward to this day, especially those who have found their better half!

This tradition is more and more celebrated in Latin America. However, the commercial impact is lower than in other countries as they consider the day mainly as an opportunity to celebrate love and friendship.

Mexico, Love and Friendship:

In Mexico they celebrate “El día de la Amistad y el Amor” (Friendship and Love’s Day) on February, 14th and it’s a popular day to get engaged, and even to get married. The day is about showing love and affection to your friends and family. A famous TV ad that has become part of Mexicans’ traditions said “‘Regale aprecio, no lo compre” (Give away affection, don’t buy it). However, nowadays presents are part of the celebration, too.

In Guatemala the celebration is similar. They call it “El día del Cariño” (The day of affection). This way people can show their affection and care to friends and family.

Valentine’s Day and the “secret friend”

In Colombia they celebrate Valentine’s Day in September, as spring starts in September in Latin America. Everyone considers it to be the most romantic season of the year. It’s common to play a game called “Amigo invisible” or “Amigo secreto” (Invisible friend, or secret friend). To play this game, people in a group (at work, or with family or friends) put their names in little pieces of paper inside a bag. Then, everyone takes a name, and they must find a gift to give to this person. Finally, on the day of the celebration everyone brings the presents and puts them all together. Presents come with clues for the person to guess who is giving the gift.

Sometimes to have more fun, people leave clues on the person’s desk or send them clues for them to start guessing in advance!


Día del Estudiante in Bolivia 

In Bolivia they celebrate  the “Día del Estudiante, de la Juventud, de la Primavera y el Amor” (Students, Youth, Spring and Love’s Day). They do that on September, 21st., as it is the day Spring starts. It is a moment to share with your loved ones and say how much you care about them.

And, how do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country? Is there a similar celebration?

Interested in learning more about Valentine’s Day? Check out this post on 12 Romantic Spanish Phrases for Lovers