How to Celebrate Valentine's Day the Colombian Way

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Or should it be Feliz Dia de Amor y Amistad?

couple being intimate
Take your girl out on a holiday date this Valentine’s Day.

In Colombia, the day of love doesn’t fall on February 14. Rather, it falls on the 3rd Saturday of September. Locals call it “Día de Amor y Amistad” or the “Day of Love and Friendship”.

It’s celebrated the same way Valentine’s is, but with an added bonus — this is also a day to celebrate friendship.

You might be wondering, why friendship?

In a collectivist society like Colombia, it’s imperative to get along with your peers. To them, nothing is better than living life harmoniously with others. After all, a long-lived friendship deserves to be celebrated.

That, and they didn’t want to leave single people out of the celebration. Either way, everyone wins and gets to take part in the merrymaking.

There are still a few select people that celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th, but it doesn’t hold a candle to how grand the celebrations are in September. Colombia is no slacker when it comes to holiday festivities, and you’re sure to have a great time.

But what exactly should you expect on this special day?

Why Friendship Is an Important Aspect of Amor y Amistad

Special occasions are always a bang in Colombia. It’s deeply rooted in Colombian culture to celebrate the different aspects of life.

So when they decided to celebrate friendship as well, it wasn’t decided on a whim. This is a nationwide celebration, and matters like these have to be handled delicately. They strongly believed romantic love isn’t the only type of love there is. You have platonic love, familial love, and even self-love.

Sundays are already dedicated to the family (since the majority of Colombians are Catholic). Self-love is something that can take years to work on. With these two out of the question, it’s a no-brainer that platonic love (or the love between friends) should be added.

Besides, Colombians highly value their friendships. They’re almost one step away from adding close friends to the family roster. They’re that close, and friendships like these are hard to get by, even in Colombia.

Colombians are grateful people. They never fail to show their appreciation and give credit where it’s due. It’s one of the reasons why Amor y Amistad is widely celebrated. After all, this is the day when different kinds of relationships are celebrated.

couple hugging
Día de Amor y Amistad celebrates love in all its forms.

The Romantic Side of Amor y Amistad

Now back to what this day was initially dedicated to – romantic love.

Valentine’s Day was initially a feast day dedicated to the patron of love, St. Valentine. However, it’s lost its meaning as years go by and has been reduced to a holiday that other people could care less about. Some even joke that it’s a single awareness day.

This is where Colombia is built differently from the rest of the world.

They still revere this day as a day to remember St. Valentine and pray to the patron saint to bless their romantic relationships. While Colombians pay respects to the patron saint, the true highlight of this day is without a doubt the holiday date.

Couples going out somewhere nice, talking about the mundane things in life, and ending the evening with a pleasant buzz in their chests.

They say you can never experience the same love twice, which makes this day all the more meaningful.

Your love should be celebrated. What are the odds of finding the person meant for you in a world with 7 billion people? You are more than fortunate to have a Colombian woman by your side.

How to Celebrate Día de Amor y Amistad

There are many places in Barranquilla where you can choose to take your girl out. Here are a few recommendations you might be interested in:

  • Gran Malecón

This is one of the most popular parks in Barranquilla and for good reasons. One, it’s always kept clean. Two, there are restaurants and food stalls conveniently lined up. And lastly, the breathtaking environment.

It’s heaven for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. You can take your girlfriend to one of the restaurants, walk along the park, then go on a boat ride in the Magdalena River.

The ambiance of the place is perfect for you and your partner to take it easy and simply enjoy each other’s company. It’s a simple yet wholesome way of celebrating the holiday.

  • La Troja

There’s no better place to get a taste of Colombian parties like La Troja. It’s lively, colorful, full of music, and it’s a place that’s jam-packed full of activities.

Here, you get to meet people who simply want to dance till the sun comes up. A good variety of drinks and food are served here. You’ll even witness some people passing around some drinks — even to complete strangers.

The festive spirit is very much alive here. It’s no surprise La Troja was hailed by the city of Barranquilla as one of its Cultural and Musical Heritage. Why wouldn’t it be, when it’s responsible for keeping the music and dance scene alive in the city.

  • Santa Marta

If you and your girlfriend are more interested in a holiday getaway, the neighboring city of San Marta is the place to be.

This place is the best two-hour trip that you may ever experience. There’s no shortage of things to do and sights to see in this city.

For one, there are beaches. Who wouldn’t want a dose of beach, sun, and sand at least once a year? This is arguably the best place to cool off when the heat of the holiday gets to you — literally and figuratively.

Keeping Yourself Educated on Colombian Culture

When dating a Colombian woman, you always have to be particular with the relevant aspects of her culture — such as the “Day of Love and Friendship.” There will be a few things that you’ll inevitably have to compromise.

When you find that sweet spot where you can comfortably live with each other’s cultural differences, you’ll be a lot more open to newer things.


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