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Valentine’s Day: USA vs. France

Published on February 25, 2016 by AHIF Administrator

In the United States, February 14th is Valentine’s Day, the day of love… and a day to rush around planning how to show that love through cards, candy and flowers. But Valentine’s Day is not the same all across the world. Would you believe that in Paris, the city of love, Valentine’s Day as Americans know it is nearly extinct? However, that doesn’t mean that France isn’t a romantic choice for Valentine’s Day. In fact, since the country exudes romance all year round, it’s likely the best place to celebrate a special day dedicated to love, like Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day can be special wherever you decide to enjoy it, but it is important to note the key differences between Valentine’s Day in America and Valentine’s Day in France.

Valentine’s Day in the United States

So, February 14th is around the corner, and you’re looking to show your ‘someone special’ how much you truly love them. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to make your love more public. Candy, flowers, greeting cards, expensive dinners, spa ventures and lover’s trips are all on the menu in America.

The bigger the better for some, but be sure you don’t venture too far above or below the current state of your relationship. For example, if you’ve been dating passively for two months, a one-week ski trip might be a little much, but if you’ve been dating seriously for 3 years, this type of gift is often expected.

Friends, family and significant others all celebrate Valentine's Day in the US.

In the United States, Valentine’s Day is not always just for your significant other either. Many women have regular “Gal-entine’s Day” celebrations as a group, school children give cards and candy to their entire classes, and bromances flourish.

Overall, Valentine’s Day means a lot to many Americans, so it is not a holiday to ignore. If you are looking to go big, the French Alps are perfect for that romantic ski trip!

Valentine’s Day in France

Clearly, every day in France is a lover’s paradise. With beautiful historic monuments, intimate restaurants and many romantic hot spots throughout the country, it’s no surprise that love cannot be confined to one day a year.

Celebrate your love with At Home in France this Valentine's Day!

That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy Valentine’s Day in France though. While you won’t find heart-shaped candies, hundreds of greeting card choices and Valentine’s Day novelty items in excess, they are still accessible if you need them. But more importantly, the country itself is its own lovers’ playground.

Unlike the United States where people celebrate the love between friends, colleagues and even pets, France dedicates the holiday exclusively to lovers. Just in case you would like to send a French colleague a friendly Valentine’s Day card this year, refrain. In fact, it may be rather shocking to a French native to receive a Valentine’s Day gift from anyone other than their spouse.

Don't give your French colleagues Valentine's! It is more of a US tradition to give cards to friends.

Check out Village of St-Valentin on the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day. They always offer unique celebrations to enjoy the holiday. Travelers and French natives flock to the area to celebrate their love, many of them even renewing marriage vows.

So, clearly, there is plenty of love to go around when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day in France or the United States. However, it is also just as clear that both countries celebrate in different ways. If you decide to travel to France for Valentine’s Day, be sure to book through At Home in France! More details to come on our Valentine’s Day Special!

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