First of all, please let me clarify this: Romanians (most of them) are really crazy about the American dream and we love to copy every single bad or good thing that is a trend in the US. This also includes Valentine’s Day.
There are two kinds of people: those who get brainwashed really easily and are making plans & stuff for Valentine’s and those who don’t give a shit about it. Just for the record, I’m the second kind of person.
Here in Romania, we have our own Valentine’s Day – it’s called Dragobete.
Dragobete is celebrated each year on the 24th of February and it’s believed that it also celebrates the first day of Spring. Drabogete is the son of Baba Dochia (another Romanian myth) and he’s like Cupid, but he doesn’t make people fall in love.
Dragobete’s Day Celebrations
Its main purpose was to celebrate love and fertility and, of course, there were some really interesting traditions:
- young men and women used to go to pick up fresh flowers from the forest. When they came back to the village, girls would start running and if a boy catches a girl, he will kiss her and they would become engaged (this is a really wrong way to get engaged);
- if you cry on Dragobete’s Day, you’ll have bad luck for the rest of the year;
- if you were a single guy on Dragobete’s Day, you would be single until the next celebration – for a whole year;
- you have to kiss your partner on this day, to keep the relationship strong throughout the year (d’oh);
- girls put holy basil (yeah, we have that – and many other Christian cultures do) under their pillow and it’s believed that they’ll dream about their future husband;
- animals also used to get special treatments: in the countryside, they would get extra care, because it was believed that they will choose their partner and breed. Aw;
I don’t know what you think right now, but I certainly think that these traditions are way more interesting than chocolate, heart balloons and red roses.
We don’t really celebrate it anymore – or at least as we used to – but at the countryside, they still keep some of these funny and interesting Dragobete traditions.
I personally don’t celebrate any of them. I believe if you have someone special in your life, you don’t have to wait for a certain day to make something special for them. This all Valentine’s madness is such a commercial thing (so take advantage of the sales period), it has nothing romantic in it.
I really don’t know if each culture has like its own version of Valentine’s Day, so please let me know about your Valentine’s Day traditions in your country in the comments down below!
How do you celebrate Valentine’s? Does your culture have a version of it as Romanians do? Let me know in the comments’ section below!