While you may think that Valentine's Day couldn't be that different from one country to another, you might be surprised by how subdued the celebration is in France, especially if you're American. French people celebrate Valentine's Day too, although here it is known as la fête de Saint-Valentin or, simply, la Saint-Valentin.
Unlike in some countries where everyone gets in on this lovey-dovey holiday from the earliest age, in France, Valentine’s Day is reserved for adults in love. Kids don’t exchange cards and the French wouldn’t dream of offering anything to their friends for this fête.
Although much less of a commercial holiday than in say, the United States, you’ll still see plenty of pink and red shop windows around Paris, gently reminding passersby that La Saint-Valentin is fast approaching. The pretty displays don’t start popping up until the beginning of February, not right after Christmas. The French know how to space out their holidays.
Like in other countries and cultures, French couples gift one another with chocolates, flowers, jewelry, or romantic evenings. In addition to picking up a present at a chocolatier or a fleuriste, Parisians have even more options for celebrating this sweet holiday. While French couples often go out for a romantic meal together on Valentine's, they sometimes opt for a more relaxed dinner at home too.
Some Paris museums, monuments, and parks host special events and many restaurants offer a Valentine’s Day menu. For those that are looking to enjoy a lovely soirée, Paris has plenty of cabarets that put on special shows to mark the occasion.
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