Why is the Day of Love and Friendship celebrated in Colombia in September?

Reference image. According to a survey by Fenaco, more than 80% of Colombians will celebrate the Day of Love and Friendship

Unlike the United States and other countries on the American continent, Colombians celebrate in September Day of love and friendshipa date that has been iconic for decades and where celebrations take over shopping malls, restaurants and various spaces to celebrate, as its name says, “love and friendship”.

But there are many who wonder: Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Colombia in September and not in February?

Traditionally, it is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month, which this year falls on September 18. and it just joins, for some, with the bi-weekly payment, so the gift matching opportunities are greater.

And this is that, though few knew it, Before the 1960s in Colombia, the date was celebrated in February.However, the merchants held an extensive meeting with the guild and were able to arrange for Valentine’s Day to take place in September with two very simple arguments.

The first of them is related to the fact that at the beginning of the year tax costs are higher and the pockets of the purchasers were still unsatisfied with the December festivities, and to this were added the expenses which the entrance of the minors implied in the school.

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Another aspect highlighted by traders is related to the fact that there were no celebrations in September, i.e. so it’s become the perfect excuse to take advantage of the weekend to boost sales across sectors: everyone’s favorite these days are tech products.

Over the years and the advent of globalization, Colombians began to celebrate both dates; on February 14 with Valentine’s Day and in mid-September the Day of Love and Friendship, depending on the affinity for each.

Originally, this date was dedicated solely to showing affection to couples in love. Later, the term friendship was added to broaden the character of the holiday so that those without a partner could share with their friends.

The most traditional celebrate this date with roses and chocolates, but customs have changed over time, so some prefer to eat in a restaurant, go out to a bar with friends or with their partner to enjoy an evening of rumba and lack of control (for the most risky).

But with the increase of technological elements, some prefer to receive as a gift or mobile phone with their respective phone wearable such as smart watches, wireless headphones, etc.

According to a study conducted by Fenalco (National Federation of Merchants), this year the number of Colombians who intend to celebrate the Day of Love and Friendship has decreased, a figure that went from 83% in 2019 to 79% in 2022.

Valentine’s story is not accurate. According to legend, it was a priest during the time of Emperor Claudius II who circumvented the law that forbade the marriage of young soldiers.

It was Gelasius I in AD 494 who designated February 14 as Saint Valentine. Later, the date spread over several centuries and through different countries of the world until today. The holiday coincides with the day of the execution of Saint Valentine, who was killed by the Roman Empire for disobeying the order.

In the 20th century, the date turned from a purely religious holiday into a commercial day. Thus, business and flower sales took advantage of the opportunity to set the day as an auspicious date for doing business with relatives and friends.


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