As this fragment of a beautiful Aztec poem illustrates, since pre-Columbian times Mexicans regard friendship very highly, considering it a precious gift of life. Nowadays in Mexico, as in the rest of the world, we celebrate on February 14 El Día de San Valentín (Valentine’s Day) popularly named El Día del Amor y la Amistad -the day of love and friendship-.

All over town there are balloon vendors offering their colorful heart shaped declarations of love, for most of them have written on them “Te Amo” -I love you- “Para mi amor“-for my love, or “Felicidades” -congratulations. Delicious chocolates, as well as flowers, especially red roses, and greeting cards are also sold in every store.

If in Mexico, don’t even try to go to a restaurant with out a reservation made weeks before. Couples of all ages go out for dinner on this special date.

As you can see, El Día del Amor y la Amistad is commemorated in Mexico in a way very similar to the manner in which the rest of the world celebrates, but surely, friendship and marriage had different expressions in pre-Columbian times.

Nowadays, Mexicans have an incredibly romantic way of expressing their love: las serenatas.

The boyfriend waits patiently for the sun to go down. Then in the town’s plaza he hires a group of mariachis or a trio of singers with guitars, and goes to his girlfriend’s house. There, on the street, under his loved one’s window, they all start to sing the most romantic and heartfelt songs.

The purpose of the serenata is to wakeup the girlfriend, with songs that will touch her heart. The girl wakes up, but lets the musicians play two or three songs before looking out of her window, while her boyfriend anxiously awaits.

At last the girl appears on her balcony, or window, which signifies that she is pleased, and approves of her boyfriend’s serenade. (You can be sure that no woman can resist such a sweet expression of love). There will follow more romantic songs, and the boy, satisfied with his success will even sing while the musicians play.

If the parents of the girlfriend approve, they could even invite him in, and chat for a little while.

In the meantime, the neighbours ,that don’t play any part in this romance, will try to go back to sleep, while nostalgically remembering the serenades of their youth.

Autor: Luis Luna

Dulce amor de mi vida,
Si te encuentras dormida.
Escucha mi voz vibrar bajo tu ventana,
Con esta canción te vengo a entregar el alma.
Perdona (perdóname)
Si interrumpo tu sueño,
Pero no pude más
Y esta noche te vengo
Te quiero.Perdona (perdona)
Si interrumpo tu sueño,
Pero no pude más
Y esta noche te vengo a decir:
Te quiero.Te quiero, te adoro mi amor.

Wake Up
Author: Luis Luna

Wake up
Sweet love of my life,
Wake up,
If your asleep.
Listen to my voice vibrating under your window,
With this song I come to offer you my soul.
Forgive me
If I interrupt your sleep.
I could no longer wait.
And tonight I come to say
that I love you.Forgive me
If I interrupt your sleep.
I could no longer wait.
And tonight I come to say
that I love you.I love you, I adore you my love.