Valentine s Day is one of Peru’s biggest holidays. Here in the United States, most people associate the day with cooler weather, rushing to find a good restaurant after work and seeing a lot of pink and red in stores. Imagine having the day off from work and celebrating the day as if it were the Fourth of July. In Peru, residents did just that in 2012. Keep in mind it is summer in that part of the world in February. The country decided to call the day a national holiday in 2012 for a longer weekend of festivities and added tourism benefits.
What Do Peruvians Do On Valentine’s Day?
While Valentine’s Day focuses mostly on romantic love in the United States, Latin countries are also known for incorporating love and appreciation for friends into this holiday. In addition to giving tokens of romantic love to their significant others, many Peruvians give tokens of love and appreciation to their friends, coworkers and neighbors. Do not expect to see roses everywhere in Peruvian markets, because orchids are the flower of choice on this major holiday. Orchids are also native to the country.
During this time, the annual Peruvian Carnival celebration occurs. It starts before Lent, but the majority of festivities happen in February. The biggest celebrations are in Cajamarca. Valentine’s Day is also a popular time for Peruvian weddings, so one thing people see on this holiday is group weddings. There are not enough venues to accommodate the large number of couples, which is why there are so many mass weddings.
With the festivities of Carnival, the love celebrations and mass weddings on Valentine’s Day, this holiday is also a day marked by feasts full of Peruvian flavors. To celebrate like Peruvians do this year, try their exquisite cuisine. In the San Francisco area, La Costanera Restaurant is the best Peruvian restaurant. To make the day truly Peruvian, bring an orchid for a date.