It is universally acknowledged that the roots of Valentine’s Day lie in Europe — however — 14th February is internationally recognized as a day of love and each country has its own rendition of the tradition today! In Mexico, Valentines Day is more commonly referred to as, El Dia del Amor y

la Amistad or “The Day of Love and Friendship”. Across the world, Valentines Day is a celebration of romantic love. Mexico chose to incorporate unique elements and transformed this into an all-inclusive celebration. This is a day for appreciation of love as a whole, it includes

friendship and camaraderie. This is a rather beautiful thought and if you’re feeling inspired by the Mexicans, stay tuned as we delve further into celebrations of El Dia del Amor y la Amistad!

 

Has Sacred Love Been Commercialised?

It is no secret that Valentines Day is a commercial tradition which is often rumored to have been introduced by a chain of department stores. Shopping Malls are filled with hearts, roses teddy bears and boxes of chocolate. Street vendors have a range of flowers, balloons, and gifts on

display. Valentine’s merchandise is available on every corner, regardless of which part of the world you occupy. Christmas and New Year decorations are emptied from store shelves and replace by V-day products from January onwards. In correspondence to the thought behind El Dia del Amor y la Amistad, individuals buy gifts and greetings cards for family, friends, and lovers.

Valentines Day Cards
Valentines Day Cards©/Nami/Flickr

Expressions of Love

This tradition of love is not only celebrated differently across parts of the world but also varies in practice across spheres of society. Typically, balloon vendors are seen marching the streets of Mexico throughout the year. However, their cartoon character and superhero shaped balloons

are replaced with hearts in multiple shades of pink and red. Additionally, balloons with printed messages such as “Te Amo” (I love you), or “Para mi Amor”, (For my love) are also available. This change is best suited to El Dia del Amor y la Amistad and the old and young alike flock to

the stands to make their purchases. Thousands of these balloons are released into the sky as an expression of love — it is indeed a spectacular sight!

In schools, children compose short poems for friends and family to attach to these balloons. Classrooms are decorated with handmade ornaments and small gifts are exchanged. If you’re seeking an out of the box declaration of love for your significant other, look no further, for the

Mexicans have a grandiose manner of expression! One of the most intriguing Mexican traditions takes place on the evening of Valentines Day. A man will appear underneath the window of his beloved and serenade her with music. Traditionally, he is accompanied by a trio of musicians

known as a Mariachi band. Together, they will sing love songs until the lady’s heart is captured. This is an ancient tradition, integral to the celebration of El Dia del Amor y la Amistad.

If you wish to express your feelings in a more humble manner, buy some fresh roses from the local vendor before the clock strikes twelve on Valentine’s Day! Pair them with a box of assorted chocolates and you’re good to go. Regardless of your approach, what’s important is that El Dia

del Amor y la Amistad serves as a day of love. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your appreciation and recognize your love for those around you.

Balloon
Balloon©/Esparta Palma/Flickr

Public Display of Affection

For those of you who love public displays of affection, you’ll be happy to know that Mexico lets their emotions come to the surface. In several parts of the world, public affection is frowned upon and avoided at all costs — it is stigmatized. However, Mexicans never shy away from acts of love! If

you’re in Mexico, you’ll notice couples getting personal — tight hugging, playful tugging and full-fledged kissing our a few examples. If you truly want to embrace a Mexican Valentine, show some love, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of!

Hug
Hug©/Hans-Jörg Aleff/Flickr

Valentine’s Day Meal

El Dia del Amor y la Amistad is incomplete without a delicious feast with friends and family! Couples and singles alike, gather at popular restaurants around town to enjoy scrumptious meals. However, keep in mind that restaurants are usually booked weeks ahead of the actual day

so make reservations at the eatery of your choice. Expecting to get entry into a restaurant without a booking is wishful thinking — you can always enjoy a home-cooked dinner put together by loved ones. If your mind is set on eating out, consider the spinning Belini restaurant. This sits

atop the World Trade Centre in Mexico and is a wonderful option. Meals are often followed by dancing or watching films at theatres. Above all, this day teaches you to enjoy each others’ company and cherish those who are close to your heart.

Dinner
Hug©/Hans-Jörg Aleff/Flickr

Celebrate Friendship

Valentines Day is a tradition that is either loved or hated. A lot of people view it as a capitalist scam designed to make couples spend unnecessary money in an attempt to ensure undying love. However, in Mexico, you don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate El Dia del Amor y la

Amistad. It’s not exclusively for lovers but offers you a chance to celebrate wonderful friendships. Break away from the stereotype and gift someone a handmade card. Cook for them, compose a song or watch a film together. What matters is that you acknowledge their presence and importance they hold in your life.

¡Feliz día del amor y la amistad!