Celebrating the Day of Love and Friendship in Colombia; Valentine’s Day in September

September 18, 2022

The second Valentine’s day that you did not know about

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

In the United States, we celebrate Valentine’s day on February 14th.

Most of the world also celebrates the day of love similarly.

But Colombia is unique. If you are a fellow ex-pat or digital nomad visiting Colombia for the first time, you have never heard of this day.

It has two Valentine’s days!

How are there two Valentine’s days in Colombia?

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Colombia celebrated the typical Valentine’s day always until the 60s.

In the 60s, a group of merchants said that the year’s first quarter was bad to celebrate this holiday.

The argument was that taxes were higher for Colombians at this tie, which led to less spending.

Children were also affected. Parents could not afford to buy candies and cards to send with their offspring to school.

This led to the invention of a second Valentine’s day in Colombia titled ‘Día de Amor y Amistad.’ This allowed more Colombians the opportunity to celebrate.

With no other holidays in September, so it was decided the day would be on the second Sunday of September annually.

This year it falls on September 18th.

What to do on Colombian Valentine’s day?

Photo by Luiz Paulo R Santos on Unsplash

You guessed it!

Like Valentine’s Day in February, Colombians gift flowers and chocolates to their better halves.

The only difference in the September version of Valentine’s day is that it is also the day of friendship.

So if you are single, do not fret.

You can also give all of your friends flowers, candies, or gifts.

You will also see a LOT of businesses taking advantage of the day, just like Hallmark did in the United States.

Red and white balloons decorate most entrances to buildings, and you will see several promotions and sales now.

To celebrate Colombian Valentine’s day, here are five ideas that you can share with your Colombian partner if you are also an extranjero:

  1. Chocolates and roses are always welcome. This is a no-brainer. The same tradition applies in Colombia if you are familiar with the traditional Valentine’s day in February.
  2. Colombians have a lot of traditional dishes that always go over well. Fancy restaurants are less prevalent in Colombia, but cooking a delicious homemade meal is always much appreciated. If you don’t know how to cook, find a basic recipe on Google. If you want to surprise your Colombian, research local foods they like from their region online.
  3. Spending time with friends and family. Colombians do not go into debt much to this day. A bar of small chocolate or a card is nice, but spending time with family and friends goes much farther. Colombian culture is very family-oriented, and there is never such a thing as not appreciating family. Spend time with your friends also. After all, it is the day of love AND friendship.
  4. Have an adventure. My family here always enjoys having experiences. It could be as simple as a walk to a park or as extravagant as planning a great trip to an area you have never seen before.
  5. Take the day off. If you are like me, you are somewhat of a work-a-holic. But take the day off and give your partner your full attention. They deserve it! Resist the urge to check your phone or emails. And better yet, try my idea of Domingos here with your partner. It is a beautiful way to spend time together.

Conclusion

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

Would I suggest celebrating Colombian Valentine’s day as an ex-pat or foreigner?

YES.

It is a fun day for you to express your appreciation for your partner, family, or friends.

And it gives you the excuse to eat more chocolate.

Who does not love chocolate?

What do you do to celebrate Colombian Valentine’s day?

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck
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Celebrating the Day of Love and Friendship in Colombia; Valentine’s Day in September was originally published in What Is Love To You? on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.