February 14 marks Valentine’s Day in many corners of the globe. That’s true of Mexico as well, though the tradition is one that’s been imported from English-speaking countries. And Mexico very much puts its own stamp on the holiday, which here is more widely known as El Dia del Amor y la Amistad: “the Day of Friendship and Love.”
Valentine’s Day in Mexico: Going Beyond Romantic Love
That name suggests a somewhat broader focus than the Valentine’s Day many Americans and Europeans may be used to: the one that puts Cupid front and center. Sure, Mexicans celebrate romantic love on the 14th, but they also pay tribute to the bond between family members and the platonic love that lies at the heart of friendship.
In Mexico, therefore, you’re likely to see friends and relatives giving one another cards and gifts and sharing meals together alongside the sweethearts. And that’s a nice, more pervasive sense of love: one that doesn’t leave anybody out!
The Roots of Valentine’s Day
In Western Christianity, Valentine’s Day began as a feast day honoring Saint Valentine. Valentine may represent a number of different historical martyrs, among them a priest in Rome executed by Emperor Claudius II for presiding over marriage ceremonies for soldiers, who were forbidden to wed.
Other accounts suggest the holiday has racier and wilder roots in the Ancient Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, observed in mid-February.
All that said, the association of Valentine’s Day with romance may actually stem from the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. That modern take on the holiday—which certainly began taking root in England in the Middle Ages—gets a mention in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Acts of Appreciation
Nowadays, of course, Valentine’s Day is pretty darn big business: all those flowers, chocolates, candy hearts, necklaces, and the like.
That’s certainly in evidence in Mexico this time of year, but also emphasized are “acts of appreciation” aimed at anybody you care about: lovers, buddies, kith-and-kin, and beyond.
When reflecting on Mexico’s version of Valentine’s Day, many evoke the spirit of two Aztec love deities: Xochipilli and Xochiquetzal. And here at Privilege Aluxes, we don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to summon our island’s prevailing Mayan goddess, Ixchel—who, after all, represents fertility.
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day—whether restricting your thoughts to that special somebody who makes you swoon, or following the Mexican example and reflecting on love and comradeship of all types—we’d like to remind you that Privilege Aluxes is the perfect place to bring main squeezes, family, and friends alike! Romance comes easy on Isla Mujeres, after all, while the laidback tropical ambiance and deep hospitality of our resort definitely foster plenty of quality time with those people truly important in your life.