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Does Colombia Celebrate Valentine's Day?

Do you know what happens in Colombia when February 14 comes around? Nothing.

That’s because they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in February. Instead, they celebrate the day of love and friendship – or Día de Amor y Amistad, as the Colombians fondly refer to it.

It’s a celebration that reminds Colombians of how blessed they are to have someone that genuinely loves them, whether it’s a friend or a lover. This day takes place on the third Saturday of September, where flower shops everywhere are sold out, and restaurants are brimming with diners.

It’s essential for you to know this if you are dating a Colombian woman. It’s easier to win her over when you make an effort to get to know her culture.

couple hugging Día de Amor y Amistad is not only dedicated to couples, but to friends as well.

Not quite familiar with this day yet? No worries — we’ve compiled all the information you need to get acquainted with this holiday.

How The Day of Love and Friendship Came to Be

Compared to Valentine’s day, which is seen as a commercial holiday by many, this day is regarded as a monumental event. It’s not your typical cliche Valentine’s where you give roses and chocolates. This annual celebration goes deep into Colombian culture.

Originally, Colombia celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14. It was changed in 1969 since it didn’t coincide with the flower season in Colombia. Because September didn’t have any major celebrations, the people decided to move it there instead. It is also convenient since school isn’t in session.

Thus began the unique Colombian tradition.

Colombians made their own version of Valentine’s day and added more meaning to it. They thought celebrating the love between couples was not enough, so they added friendship into the mix as well.

So it’s not exclusively a holiday date for lovers. This day can also be celebrated with the people closest to your heart. What better way to celebrate the day of love than to create unforgettable moments with the ones that matter?

This isn’t the only way you can celebrate the holiday. You can even spend it with an acquaintance to commemorate your newfound friendship. It’s why this holiday is most beloved by the people. It doesn’t discriminate to whatever your relationship status is. You can choose to celebrate with anyone you like.

The “Day of Love and Friendship” a Tradition You Should Know About

If the Christmas season has Secret Santa, The Day of Love and Friendship has “Secret Friend” – or, as the locals call it, Amigo Invisible.

Technically speaking, they’re both the same thing. But each culture has its own way of referring to things. Just like the Amigo Invisible.

The premise of this tradition is as follows: you place your name on a ballot, you pick a name, and you prepare a gift for the person you picked. This can be done anonymously or in person.

There’s no wishlist, you just give whatever you want to give. It’s generally understood that gifts on this day come from the heart. Hence, they believe it isn’t right to demand a specific gift from your secret friend.

Typically, these gifts are given in the form of letters, food, or flowers. But as the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Should You Still Celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th?

Yes. Absolutely.

It’s great that you get to celebrate a holiday dedicated to love twice a year. That way, you’ll never run out of reasons to pamper and splurge on your girlfriend.

couple kissing You don’t need a holiday date to treat your girlfriend to something nice.

There are a million ways to celebrate this holiday. All you need is the willingness to put in the effort into creating a special moment.

Take a look at these date recommendations that a Colombian woman is sure to love:

  • Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Even though the majority of Colombia doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it. Besides, there are some areas in Colombia that cater to people who celebrate the saint’s day.

In Medellin, tons of restaurants have discount offers on Valentine’s. One of the best restaurants that’s frequented by many is the Cafe Zeppelin. It’s a place for first dates or outings with friends. There’s an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a romantic dinner with your date.

You can also choose to spend the day dancing. There’s no shortage of dance clubs in Colombia, as they are most famously known for their salsa, bachata, cumbia. Don’t be shy if you don’t know any of these dances. There are classes to help you get oriented on the basics. You and your Colombian girlfriend are sure to have a hoot in between lessons.

  • Celebrating The Day of Love and Friendship

Two words: Go ham.

This day is a field day for discounts. Flowers, gifts, chocolates — you name it. Most people would expect the price to hike up on Valentine’s day, but not in Colombia. The country is blessed with good fauna, so you’ll be able to find fresh flowers for a good price, which is a good thing. Now you can spend the rest of your money to go out on a dinner date with your girl.

You might want to book a restaurant ahead of time. Remember: this is not only a day of love, but a day of friendship as well. There are bound to be groups of friends making huge reservations.

You can also accept your girlfriend’s friend’s invitation to a party. It is usually attended by old friends and their partners. There are bound to be huge preparations and good food ahead.

Making Memories on the Day of Love

You don’t necessarily need a special occasion to appreciate your partner. But to others, this is a chance for them to make amends or rekindle their love for each other.

It’s all up to you and your girlfriend to celebrate the day of love. You can even celebrate it twice if you want to. There’s no harm in celebrating this special holiday, even if there are no troubles in paradise.

Treat your girlfriend to something special this February. If you want, you can also plan your Día de Amor y Amistad early. Enjoy the holidays!


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