A Mexican Valentine’s Day. February 14th is celebrated in Mexico as El Día del Amor y la Amistad, or “The Day of Love and Friendship”. The holiday has been embraced by Mexicans and enriched with their unique traditions and expressions of love.
Warm, festive and generous, this is how Mexicans are defined by most foreigners. It’s part of the Mexican culture to show affection, but also to demand being pampered by those who are considered “friends and family”.
Maybe that’s why Mexican people have embraced Valentine’s Day with such enthusiasm every February 14th, a date that many consider somewhat commercial, but one that Mexico has enriched with local traditions as well as an original idea or two about how to show love for that special someone.
By late January, the shops and restaurants are decorated with hearts, Cupid figurines, balloons and ribbons.
On the streets and tourist sites, it’s common to see ballooners, with their colorful cargo.
Shops and stores all over Mexico are crammed with suggestions for gifts, ranging anywhere from a simple card to the classic stuffed animals and chocolates, jewelry, perfumes, cell phones and even lingerie and men’s underwear!
“Give love… don’t buy it!” says an old TV commercial that remains in the popular wisdom of Mexicans. But the phrase is lost among so many “romantic” and rather useless things that people give each other on this date.