ColombiaOne.comCultureValentine's Day with a Colombian Twist

Valentine’s Day with a Colombian Twist

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Valentine's Day Colombia
Colombia’s unique take on Valentine’s Day, celebrating love and friendship on the third Saturday of September – Credit: ColombiaOne

While many countries celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, Colombia has established its own tradition by dedicating the third Saturday of every September to ‘Love and Friendship’ (Amor y Amistad). This distinct choice not only distinguishes Colombia internationally but also showcases the country’s vibrant culture and its emphasis on nurturing bonds among friends and family.

Origin and cultural significance

The tradition of celebrating love and friendship in Colombia during September has historical roots that date back several decades. Originally inspired by the notion of Valentine’s Day, Colombia adapted this celebration to fit its cultural context, emphasizing not just romantic love but the broader spectrum of platonic relationships as well. This shift in focus is reflective of the Colombian ethos, which places a strong emphasis on community and familial bonds.

Economic impact and celebratory customs

The equivalent of Valentine’s Day in Colombia is not just a day of emotional significance; it also has a notable impact on the country’s economy. The celebration drives a considerable increase in the sales of flowers, cards, and gifts, as Colombians exchange tokens of appreciation with their loved ones and friends. Restaurants and entertainment venues often see a surge in patronage during this period, as many opt to celebrate with special outings.

The tradition of ‘secret friends,’ akin to the Secret Santa concept, is a popular custom that adds an element of surprise and fun to the festivities. Participants draw names to determine who they will secretly gift, to be revealed on the day of celebration. This practice not only strengthens existing relationships but also fosters new connections among groups of friends or coworkers.


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