Valentine’s Day may be a European creation, but it has been embraced in Mexico, a country known worldwide for its friendly and affectionate citizens. In Mexico, this heart-shaped holiday is called El Dia de Amor and Amistad, or The Day of Love and Friendship.
Love has had divine connections in Mexico since the days of Mesoamerica, where chocolate was first discovered for its delicious and amorous properties. The Aztec people worshipped a goddess of beauty, love and friendship named Xochiquetzal. She was also the patroness of lovers and prostitutes, and she is commonly depicted along with beautiful flowers. But don’t let the flowers and the friendship fool you. She was an extremely powerful goddess, and some of the rituals performed in her name involved human sacrifice. Love, indeed, hurts.
There are many legends and myths surrounding amorous couples throughout Mexico’s history. One of the most famous involves love and tragedy in beautiful, colonial Guanajuato, considered to be the most romantic city in Mexico.
As the story goes, a greedy and selfish father wished to marry his daughter, Doña Carmen, to a wealthy Spanish nobleman in order to refill his depleted bank account. However, his dear daughter wanted to marry for love.
Naturally, she fell in love with young, definitely-not-wealthy miner named Don Luis. They met in secret and vowed their eternal love to one another. Naturally, they were discovered, and poor Doña Carmen was locked in her room to await her fateful wedding day with an elderly Spaniard.
Don Luis decided to buy the house next to her, since the homes were so close they could kiss across the nearly-touching bedroom balconies. One night the star-crossed lovers were sharing a goodnight kiss and were discovered by the enraged father, who plunged a dagger into his daughter’s heart, killing her instantly.
Don Luis was so heartbroken he jumped into a mineshaft, ending the sad tale. You can still visit the alley, Callejón del Beso, in Guanajuato where the story found its origins. If you kiss your partner on the third step, legend has it that your love will last forever.
If you plan on an evening out with your Valentine, you can’t go wrong with this ultra-romantic embroidered maxi dress from Erica Maree.
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