The time of year has come again when stores are flooded with flowers, chocolates, and stuffed animals displaying hearts that read, “Be Mine.” Valentine’s Day is the one day that is dedicated to celebrating those we love. One legend says that the holiday began when Claudius, the leader of Rome during the third century, decided that single men make better soldiers than those with wives and families, and outlawed marriage for young men. St. Valentine,a priest serving at the time,  realized the injustice of the decree, and defied Claudius by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret, thus creating Valentine’s Day.

In the United States, we celebrate the holiday through displays of love to our significant other, family, and friends by exchanging  gifts, cards, flowers, candy, etc. However, depending on where you’re from, your Valentine’s Day traditions might be a little different.

According to full time student, Susana Olivares, Mexico and the United States share very similar Valentine’s Day traditions. “ We give each other cards, flowers, chocolates, and cookies,” said Olivares. “ My school in Mexico even has a fundraiser where you can send gifts to your crush or friends anonymously.”

In Colombia, home of full time student, Maria Arenas, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of not only spousal love, but the whole family. “ My family always goes out to eat for a nice dinner to celebrate,” said Arenas. “ We all celebrate our love for one another as a family.

“Valentine’s day is all about love in Venezuela,” said full time student, Angel Guerra. Even those who aren’t in relationships celebrate Valentine’s Day with their family and a chosen friend whom they exchange gifts with. “Every person has a valentine,” he said. “ Sometimes we even draw names to ensure that everyone has someone to celebrate and has someone who is celebrating them.”

Although many countries have chosen to acknowledge and celebrate the unique holiday, not all take part in the festivities. In Austria, where full time students, Rico and Mercedez Rudolph are from , there is little to no celebration at all.

Whether you are celebrating the holiday with a loved one or family and friends, we hope you have a great day. All of our students will spend their day doing what they love most, playing a round on the golf course.