La Saint Valentin…

I was recently reminded again that there are many things about the French culture about which I do not know anything… Yes, it is a possibility that I might wander a bit cluelessly sometimes but in my defense, some things need to be experienced in order to truly be understood. So far, I was under the impression that in France, people did not celebrate Valentine’s Day! To tell you the truth, I sometimes feel like the French do not like celebrations much… Although it might be more correct for me to say that I feel the French do not like celebrations as MUCH as the Americans do. They don’t get married much so forget about bridal showers, bachelor’s or bachelorette’s parties or simply weddings… When they have children, there are no such things as baby showers (although they do have baby registries) and I have not heard about baptisms that often.

In the US, Valentine’s Day is a big deal for a lot of people! I love the concept of asking someone to be your valentine or simply to be someone’s valentine! Yes I know it has turned into yet another major commercial holiday but I love the idea of spreading love all around, should it be in the form of cards, flowers, candies, chocolate boxes, or simply hugs… I would send Valentine’s cards to my significant other but also give some to my friends, to family members, colleagues, etc. (well ok, I may have to add that I used to do that when I was working as a preschool teacher). I don’t do it because I feel I have to. I do it because it is fun and a great way to tell the people in your life that you care about them.

As far as France is concerned, I just thought people did not really care. Turns out Valentine’s Day here really is not as much as a big deal as it is in the US but it still is “La Fête des Amoureux,” which means that it is customary to do something for the special person in your life… Oops… I wish I had found out about that detail earlier… I am going to cut it a bit close…


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