Valentine’s Day is long gone in our memories.
Heck, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, but I do remember Valentine’s day because I screwed up.
I forgot to get my Colombian wife a gift.
And if you know a thing or two about Colombianas, it’s that they take their relationships seriously.
Today I’m going to tell you what went wrong, and how I plan on redeeming myself.
In the process, I’m going to give you tips on how you can make Valentines in September even better than Valentines in February. That is if the person you love is Colombian.
Everything about El Día de Amor y Amistad in Colombia
El Día de Amory y Amistad (Colombian version of Valentine’s day, also known as el Día de San Valentin) is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Colombia, unlike in February in the USA and Canada.
But, it wasn’t always like that.
Legend has it that el Día de San Valentin was celebrated in February, until 1969, when a handful of shrewd businessmen realized their sales were low.
After some back-of-the-napkin calculations, they figured out that people were spending so much money on school supplies or their kids in January. They had little money to spare on chocolates, roses, and serenades for Valentine’s day.
So this clever crew came up with a plan:
Let’s move Valentine’s day.
They convinced the local government to shift the date to a month without a holiday. Today, it’s known as “El Dia de Amor y Amistad.”
I only just learned about this from a video that has some tragic failed attempts of guys declaring their love to the women they love (watch it till the end):
After I saw this video that I thought to myself:
“Hey, this is my chance to make up for missing Valentine’s day! I can celebrate with my wife as if we were actually in Colombia right now.”
Luckily for me, there’s no shortage of information online. I was able to figure out how Colombians celebrate Valentine’s day.
But first, let me tell you a little about my wife.
Raised Colombian: About my wife
Growing up, Paulita was raised like other kids in Colombia.
You see, she was born in Canada, but her parents are from Colombia. Her parents are from Armenia and Manizales.
Paula’s parents spoke Spanish to her at home, she loved eating arepas, frijoles, and empanadas. She learned to dance mapalé, bambuco, and cúmbia. She played soccer and went to church. And to this day, she has fond memories of the festivals she went to, and the traditions her parents passed down to her.
And I know that she wants to pass on some of those traditions to our son.
That’s actually a big reason why she started the Vamos Colombia website. To help other people connect with their Colombian roots.
This brings me to the question, how is Valentine’s day celebrated in Colombia?
This is How Colombians celebrate Valentine’s Day
I assumed most Colombians exchange gifts, plan to spend time alone, and write heartfelt letters to each other expressing their love and admiration.
But I wanted to do some research to find out for sure. So I searched Google, Youtube, a few Facebook groups, and some websites.
Along the way I stumbled upon this interesting article with statistics on what Colombian’s are most likely to buy during valentines day, and here’s the breakdown:
Most Colombians that celebrate dia del Amor y Amistad do so by cooking a romantic lunch/dinner (27%), exchanging gifts (26%), going out for dinner (19%), or other activities like traveling (7%) 1.
I also learned that those that buy gifts, the most purchased are:
- Chocolates 29%
- Clothing 22%
- Clothing accessories 20%
- Gift cards 11%
- Flowers 10%
- Other 11%
If you add those, you get 103%, but I assume that’s because some people that answered the survey probably selected more than one thing on the list. For example, they chose chocolates, gift cards, flowers, and something else (other).
After doing my research, the treats & dinner jumped out at me.
- She loves to munch – she loves snacking on chips, chocolates, and treats, so I know I would score points with some munchies.
- I can cook & COVID sucks – I know my way around the kitchen, and due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we aren’t going to restaurants yet. That’s also why I won’t buy clothing because we’re just going to stay home for our celebration.
To really put a bow on this thing, I will give her a handwritten letter letting her know how bad I feel for letting her down in February.
Now, when it came to the treats and munchies, I didn’t want just any treats. I decided to get authentic Colombian snacks.
Top Colombian Snacks You can Order Online
If you Google “Colombian snacks” or “Colombian treats,” you’ll find lists of deserts and street food like arepas,cocadas, buñuelos, pan de bono, and chicharron.
But those foods are a bit too hard for me to cook.
I added the snacks from those lists to a spreadsheet, then I headed over to Amazon to see if I could find them.
And guess what, I found most of them.
Here’s a list of the most popular snacks I found on Amazon:
Original Flavor of Avena Alpina in 6.7 fl. oz. – 8 Pack.
Product of Colombia.
This is a smooth, sweet drink usually enjoyed, chilled or at room temperature.
|Arequipe (Dulce de Leche)|
Dulce de Leche is delicios. You can eat it straight from the container with a spoon, or you can spread it onto crackers or bread. It is a milk based desert that is very popuplar in Colombia.
Bocadillo is a Colombian confection made with guava pulp and panela, which is consumed abundantly throughout Colombia, one of the largest guava producers in the world.
|Bon Bon Bum|
Bubble Gum Filled Lollipops, Assorted Flavours
Strawberry, Intense Strawberry, Tangerine and Wild Apple lollipops
“Best lollipops ever!” Amazon Review, Feb 2019
Colombian chocolate-covered vanilla pound cake. The perfect snack cake to take anywhere you go.
Delicious coffee hard candy, the PERFECT combination of Coffee and Caramel
Made with 100% Premium Colombian Coffee
Made by Colombina, one of the world’s largest candy manufacturers.
Each bag contains 50 individually wrapped candies
Same brand as BonBonBum Lollipops
Frunas Original – Caramelo Blando (Fresa, Limon, Naranja, Frutal)
The favorite chocolate bar of Colombians, with its unique and unforgettable flavor.
Enjoy its four pieces and feel how they melt in your mouth is a moment of unique sweetness, which is only enjoyed with a Jet Milk.
Enjoy this irresistible mix of textures.
This delicious Jet with the flavor of tradition will make you relieve delicious moments and you can enjoy them at any time of the day.
Milo makes a delicious hot or cold beverage
Fortified chocolate flavored drink mix
|Obleas with Arequipe|
The arequipe spread is similar to dulce de leche and this creamy caramel glues together two thin, circular wafer cookies, called obleas, to create a dessert by the same name. Obleas are so light and crunchy that it’s easy to eat 3 or 4 without noticing
Postobon is a Colombian staple apple flavored soda.
|Super Coco Candy|
Supercoco are one of Colombia’s most famous candies. Derived from 100% natural ingredients, Supercoco are coconut caramel candies with a chewy texture. An excellent treat for Coconut lovers!
In case you are wondering, yes, these are affiliate links.
Make sure to order yours before September 10th so that it arrives by September 19th (Colombian Valentines Day). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shipping can be delayed, so the sooner you order the better.
Will she like it?
There you have it, some insights into Colombian Valentine’s day, a little bit about my wife and me, and my plans to make her happy.
I’m probably going to cook her something special like a sopa and some arepas, what do you think?
I promise to share pictures of the treats and food I give her. I think she’ll be surprised that I put this much thought into everything and will be happy.
My bet is she’ll love sharing the Colombian treats with my son, and she’ll tell him stories of when she used to eat them. Later we can even show off the gifts to Abuelo and Abuela on the webcam.
Do you think she will like it? Please let me know in the comments below.