Valentine’s Day in France

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Monique Palomares wrote to me from France about Valentine’s Day there…

Valentine’s Day is less important in France than in the US in the sense that it’s a holiday for romantic love, and romantic love only. That is to say that only couples give each other gifts and say, “Bonne Saint Valentin !” (Happy Valentine’s Day!). We don’t give gifts and we don’t send cards to friends, not even best friends or anyone else. In general, men buy a bouquet of red roses for their sweetheart: their fiancé, wife, partner, (or mistress!). But the gift could also be jewelry or perfume. Women buy men after-shave lotion, cologne, a tie, a t-shirt that he wants, etc. Often couples go out to eat for dinner on St. Valentine’s Day. If it falls on a weekend, they might also spend a romantic weekend away.

Thanks for sharing that Monique! -Mama Lisa

Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World. -Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 at 8:32 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, France, Holidays Around the World, Mama Lisa, St. Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Valentine’s Day in France”

  1. David Says:

    Yes, thanks Monique for that great explanation. As you know, I have lots of friends and family in France (you among them my dear!) and I recently sent out a “Valentine’s Day” email to them. In the subject heading I wrote “Joyeuse Saint Valentin”. As is commonly known, Valentin was a man (he became a saint in the 3rd century) but I was told (apparently, mistakenly) that to wish someone a Happy Valentine’s Day in France, you use the feminine “Joyeuse” (Happy) because it refers to Fête (Holiday) which is also feminine. Now thanks to you I know that the CORRECT way of wishing someone a Happy Valentine’s Day in France is “Joyeuse Fête des Amoureux”!

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