By Ashlee Galloway
In America, Valentine’s Day is a special day celebrated on the 14th of February to commemorate our love for that “special someone” in our lives. This special day isn’t just an American holiday- it’s celebrated all over the world!
In Latin America, Valentine’s Day is celebrated a lot like it is in America. However, the importance of showing appreciation for friends and family is just as important as lovers.
Valentine’s Day is known as el día del amor y amistad, or the day of love and friendship. People exchange flowers, cards, and chocolates to the ones they love most.
Latin American countries celebrate this holiday with different traditions than America. In Guatemala City Center, locals dress up in fancy costumes and parade through the streets. A popular tradition is called “amigo secreto,” an adaptation of secret Santa where friends randomly draw each other’s names and anonymously give them a present.
In Columbia, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in September instead on in February. In some countries like Brazil, Valentine’s Day doesn’t even exist as a holiday.
In France, Valentine’s Day is celebrated very similarly to America. On this day, people often exchange cards, chocolates, flowers, and other items of endearment. It is also very commercialized in the media to attract more people.
Valentine’s Day is very popular in France because it is thought to be the origin of the holiday. Charles, the Duke of Orleans is thought to have written the very first Valentine’s card.
Germany is fairly new to the holiday of love; The idea of Valentine’s Day wasn’t introduced until World War II.
As in many cultures, chocolates, love letters, and extravagant flower arrangements are exchanged amongst couples. A popular tradition in Germany is very different from most countries. A pig is traditionally used as a symbol of lust and good luck. Also, large gingerbread cookies are often baked in the shape of hearts and decorated with icing.
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