Valentine's Day Traditions in Latin America: Curious Celebrations and the
Valentine's Day Traditions in Latin America: Curious Celebrations and the Link with Friendship Freepik

Chocolate, roses, and romantic dates are ubiquitous on social media as Valentine's Day approaches. Observed each February 14th, this occasion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate romantic love worldwide. Latin America is no exception; however, in many countries, the date is also associated with friendship.

In Panama, for example, Valentine's Day isn't solely reserved for couples; it's also an occasion to express gratitude to friends, family, and loved ones. This can be done with a card, scheduling a special dinner, or simply taking the time to send a text message.

"My Panamanian friend writes to me every February 14th as if it were my birthday," shares an Argentine journalist with The Latin Times. In the South American country, the date isn't as significant for couples, who often prioritize celebrating love with an annual commemoration of the day they got married, started dating, or even shared their first kiss.

They even have a celebration on the day before, every February 13th, dedicated to singles, known as Anti-Valentine's Day, in a tradition that originated with groups of friends tired of the overly sentimental celebration on February 14th


Despite this, the date still exists in that country, which is not the case in Brazil, where February 14th falls too close to the carnival dates. There, every June 12th is 'Dia dos Namorados' ('Lovers' Day').

Returning to Panama, it isn't the only country where Valentine's Day is seen as an opportunity to celebrate affection in a broader sense. In Mexico, the celebration is known as 'Día del Amor y la Amistad,' which means 'Love and Friendship's Day' in Spanish.

The same name applies to the celebration in Colombia, although in this country, the special date was also postponed due to economic reasons. The Colombian 'Día del Amor y la Amistad' is held on the third Saturday of September.

This decision was made because, in February, Colombians face increased expenses due to the recent Christmas season and the beginning of the school year."

In the U.S., where Valentine's Day is typically reserved for couples, friends have also found a way to celebrate, especially women friends. Galentine's Day is the global holiday that celebrates women's friendship, usually observed on February 13th, but it can be celebrated any day between February 1st and Valentine's Day.

Bolivia is another country that moved the date, celebrating 'Día del Amor' (Love Day) on September 21st, coinciding with the beginning of spring. It's a busy day for merchants, as it's also celebrated, like in other countries in the region, as "Día del Estudiante," which means 'Student Day' in Spanish.

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