Celebrating Valentine's Day or Ystävänpäivä

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Valentine's Day was never a big deal for me.  I remember in grade school we used to buy candy grams for $0.50 or $1.00 to send them to our friends.  As I aged, it became a little murkier sending candy grams to my guy friends since it would indicate I showed some romantic feelings and would be teased for it.  For those of you  that are not familiar with candy grams, it usually contains a note with a message accompanied by an assortment of chocolates or heart shaped candies.

Not being the most mature eleven year old, I would sign off on it as "we're just friends" to make it clear when that I didn't harbor any crushes.  Looking back on some of the candy grams conjures sentiments of sweetness and innocence.   It was a joy sending a candy gram as gifts as it validated you had friends in school.  Some even went so far as declaring how many candy grams they received and I found it impressive one of the girls received 66 candy grams considering our elementary school was rather small and my 6th grade class at that time only had 40 kids in it.  So, it was definitely a popularity contest.

We lose the message of certain holidays sometimes; Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and Valentine's Day can be one of them.  Although, most of the Western world celebrates Valentine's Day as a time to celebrate with your significant other, a majority of singles go out in a group and celebrate their friendships!

Vanilla Supreme at Bisous Ciao
Vanilla Supreme at Bisous Ciao

After conducting some research on sevearl countries that celebrate Valentine's Day, Finland celebrates Valentine's Day's as Ystävänpäivä aka Friend's Day, which I like the most. There are no grand gestures on Ystävänpäivä  but small gifts to celebrate your friendships.

May - Mei sent me a message a few months ago that she was coming to New York City to see some friends she met at her artists' residency in Nebraska perform a Valentine's Day show in NYC but also see a couple movies.  Sarah and Linh joined us to see Hail, Caesar! and Zoolander 2 and afterwards had desserts and coffee at Bisous Ciao in the West Village.

Mocha Cake
Mocha cake at Bisous Ciao
Two entertaining movies, (although I had to admit Zoolander 2 wasn't as funny as Zoolander), desserts and spending time with some friends was a great way to commemorate Valentine's Day aka Ystävänpäivä.

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