In Canada, February 14 falls in the winter season meaning that there is a lot of snow. One popular activity on this day is to sleep under the “Yukon Northern Light”. It is far north in Canada away from the light pollution of the big cities. You can see the snowy forest and feel the cold clear air. Even with a fire going, you can watch the magical green light dancing in the sky. Another activity is to travel to Banff National Park. The lakes freeze around December and you can ski and skate in the winter wonderland. At the end of January, the “Ice Magic Festival” starts and they display ice sculptures. For those who want to celebrate in a more urban setting, Toronto is a popular spot. It is an ethnically diverse city near Niagara Falls. Most couples celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner at a restaurant or special dinner at home after some sort of travel or activity.
In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. They call it “El Dia del Amor y la Amistad”. Mexican culture is unique in that Valentine’s Day includes not just romantic partners but also family and friends. People typically send a message, flowers or chocolates. Sometimes they even celebrate by inviting friends to dinner. One of the more popular gifts are balloons, in particular red or pink, with a message on them. Roses are also popular, but they must be bought before midnight. People are not afraid to show affection to each other on the street and many times can be seen doing so on Valentine’s Day.
United States of America
Americans started celebrating it in the 19th century, but cards were already popular in the late 18th century. The celebration we know today started in the 20th Century. Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for marriage proposals, however, it is celebrated by friends and children as well.
In schools, children give each other cards and sweets. One of the more popular candies are the conversation hearts that say things like “xoxo” and “sweet pea” and the bag of candy was often sorted through for the desired label to be presented to recipients. Sadly, as of 2018 they are no longer made. Adults celebrate with their significant others with romantic dinners and gifts. Over the years, Valentine’s Day has become more material oriented, which can put a strain on relationships.
There are many towns that do something special to celebrate Valentine’s Day. One of them is Valentines, Virginia. William H. Valentine began stamping the mail with a heart-shaped, hand-canceled postmark from 1877. This is a small town, but hundreds of visitors come to the town because of the namesake and the stamp. Some people send pre-addressed mail to the store in hopes that the letter will be postmarked in Valentines. Today the town has 25,000 mail pieces to stamp.
There is a town named Valentine in Nebraska. Now it is the “Heart City” where they decorate sidewalks with painted hearts the street signs are candy-red. Some restaurants sell heart-shaped steaks. They do a teddy bear decorating contest and Valentine’s Day Coronation at the local high school. They stamp about 50,000 letters per year from all over the world, including China, Africa and Australia.
Texas’s Valentine town has a Prada storefront sculpture in the desert. This will eventually melt back into the Earth. Right now, it is being used as an Instagram backdrop. They also do stamping. Local children compete every year for the new design and the city council decides the winner.