El Dia de San Valentin

As we near the end of February, the month of love, I’d like to share how I learned about this association for February in my country, Mexico.

Many times, we relate the phrase “love is in the air” with the arrival of spring, but in this case, we are far away from it, or at least from the pleasant weather it brings.

When I thought about writing about the most celebrated holiday this month, I wondered how it was that Mexico adopted it. It is not a celebration that is included in all those (celebrations) that are part of our culture and represent our roots. To me, it sounds more like another of the many celebrations adopted from the neighboring country, the United States, so I dedicated myself to doing a little research.

Apparently, there was a Roman Catholic priest in the third century whose name was Valentine and whom the church canonized and behold is known as Saint Valentine.

This priest was engaged in clandestinely marrying the Roman soldiers, because the then Emperor Claudius II forbidden them. He needed these soldiers to remain single so that they could dedicate themselves completely and without distractions to the militia.

Valentine was captured and executed on February 14.

Valentine’s Day was officially celebrated by the Catholic Church, until 1969 when it was eliminated from the liturgical calendar. But because it was already deeply rooted, people continued to celebrate it.

In the mid-twentieth century, traders saw a huge opportunity to grow their profits with this date and began to make commemorative cards for the date; dedicated to love, affection and friendship. Today is a date where people spend huge amounts of money on flowers, chocolates, cards, dinners and even engagement rings to propose to their girlfriends!

My conclusion is that yes, in fact this date should have been brought by the colonizers, starting with celebrating only the lovers until it was extended in the celebration of friendship.

In Mexico, this celebration is called “el día de San Valentín” (Valentine’s Day), “el día de los enamorados” (The Lovers Day) and “el día del amor y la amistad” (Love and Friendship Day). We also dress in red, send cards, give flowers and chocolates and go out with our friends and/or boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.

In my class at Union, we made cards for a friend or family member and then we had a small celebration to remember how important friends are!

Señora Herrera
Union Elementary
Grades 3rd and 4th