Valentine's Day In Latin America

Latina Woman holding Valentine's Day Candy, wearing a funny black t-shirt with vintage tattoo-style graphic eith tacos and roses that says "Tacos Are My Valentine"


Do Latinos celebrate Valentine's Day?

You bet your tamales we do! And we're not just talking about a quick run to the local drugstore for a quick box of chocolates and a card. No, no, no. Latinos go all out for this holiday, and we do it with style. So, grab a cafecito and let's dive into what Valentine's Day really means for us.

First of all, let's talk about the history of Valentine's Day. It's believed that the holiday began in ancient Rome as a fertility festival called Lupercalia. That may sound romantic, but before this day became associated with the  romantic kind of love in the 14th century, it was spent beating women with animal hides in the name of health and fertility. Ay! We've come a long way, amigos! Fast forward to today, and many people think that Valentine's Day has become just a commercial holiday with retailers raking in the dough.

But for Latinos, Valentine's Day is more than just a Hallmark holiday. It's a time to celebrate our relationships with family and friends, and to show some big love and appreciation for our honeys. And, let's be real, Latinos and Latinas don't need a special day to do that. We love to love.

In Mexico, Valentine's Day is known as "El Día del Amor y la Amistad," which translates to "The Day of Love and Friendship." And let me tell you, in Mexico, they know how to celebrate love and friendship. From flowers and extravagant candy, to small chocolate skulls known as "calaveritas," this holiday is all about spreading the love and having a good time with your amigos and amigas. Don't be surprised to see more than a few weddings on this day. It's a popular day to get married, and an even more popular day to get engaged. ¡Qué romántico!

Now, let's head on over to Brazil, where Valentine's Day is celebrated on June 12th, which is the eve of Saint Anthony's Day. The Brazilians call this day "Dia dos Namorados," which means "Lovers' Day." And believe me, they take it pretty seriously. Couples exchange gifts, gushing love letters, and go out on the town for special dinners to spend a romantic evening. 

Moving on to Argentina, where Valentine's Day is known as "El Día de los Enamorados," or "The Day of Lovers." In addition to the usual flowers and chocolates, the Argentinians have a tradition of sharing "mate," a traditional Argentine tea that is shared between two people. The mate ritual is a sign of affection and intimacy, and a unique way to bond and celebrate love between two people.

In Peru, Valentine's Day is known as "El Día del Amor," which means "The Day of Love." Instead of the traditional roses, Peruvians often mark the day with a beautiful display of native orchids, as Peru has over 3,000 species of orchids to choose from! Couples exchange gifts and go out to dinner, but there is also a pretty cool tradition known as "El Día del Cupido," which is celebrated on November 13th. This day is all about celebrating the love between friends and family members, and is marked by the exchange of small gifts and cards with your besties and familia.

And finally, let's not forget about Colombia. Like Mexico, Valentine's Day is known as "El Día del Amor y la Amistad." This day is all about celebrating both love and friendship, with flowers, candies, and special gifts being exchanged between couples and good friends. But what really sets Colombia apart is the tradition of "El Amigo Invisible," or "The Invisible Friend." It's a lot like Secret Santa, where gifts are exchanged anonymously between friends, family members, and secret crushes. We'd love to see this unique tradition spread!

So, there you have it, mi gente. These are just a few ways that Latinos celebrate Valentine's Day. Of course, there's many more, but to list them all would take longer than a Mexican wedding.

And for those of us who find ourselves single on Valentine's Day? No problema! We have the warmth of good friends, loving family, and great tacos to keep us company. And it's perfectly ok if tacos are your Valentine - tacos will never break your heart!