Travel & Photography

What do we celebrate in Romania? Valentine’s Day or Dragobete?

“What are we celebrating? Valentine’s Day or Dragobete? ” is the question that many couples ask themselves in the month of love, February. It is true that love should be celebrated and cherished indifferent day, month or season, but lovers related to persistently to prepare surprises or arrange special times when you dictate the timing or sometimes people or trend. To understand better what each of these holidays is, we need to know how they came about, where they come from and what they mean. 

It is known that the traditional Romanian holiday of love is Dragobetele. It is celebrated on February 24 and dates of several hundred years, belonging mostly southwest. The etymology of the word is not known exactly, there are various explanations in connection with its origin. It is considered to be of Slavic origin, meaning “dear” or “beloved.” It has multiple interpretations: in Romanian folk mythology it is embodied and considered a suitor god, protector of love, protector of lovers, god of good mood and parties; can be identified with Cupid, the god of love in Greek mythology; he is also said to be the son of Baba Dochia, a cheerful, strong young man who brings love into homes and into the soul; and is said to be the day when the birds are mating and marks the beginning of spring, rebirth of nature.

The holiday also has some traditions found in different areas of the country, inherited from the Dacians. In some places, the girls and boys went to pick spring flowers, and then the girls had to run back to the village, the boys following them. If a boy managed to catch a girl, have to kiss in with all and so they were considered engaged all year. In other places, fires were lit and young people gathered and spent time, and each girl had to touch a boy to be lucky in love all year round or to find a good husband. On that day, there was no work and no order was made in the house and in the yard to have things arranged all year round, people did not sacrifice animals, the day being considered “nature’s wedding”.

Dragobete, embodied in the young god, is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day in Western culture. Legend has it that a certain Christian priest who secretly wed couples in love after the Emperor Claudius II banned marriage, because men do not go to war and preferred to stay home with their families. Claudius tried to put convince to give to Christianity, but when he refused, he was executed. This has happened most likely on February 14, remaining time in which to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The Romans borrowed this day from the West, which is quite criticized by some and highly appreciated by others, who, to be honest, have a lot to gain from those who want to impress with a gift, a flower or other expensive gestures. The shops are full of all kinds of gifts made for the occasion and lovers to flock to indulge half of them. Now remains the choice each day that decides to celebrate love, some take May least account feast with traditional Romanian and choose to be “in line with the world”, the fear of being disregarded, others keep to their traditions.

This celebration of love has an equivalent all over the world, with different origins, the dates in which it is celebrated being different, as well as what it symbolizes; which reveals the desire of any people to thank the protector of love and understanding, of harmony in the family. Regardless of the source, the man feels the need to celebrate the love for the near traditions or how it made matters May least, it is important to show how much he values the pair. People talk too much about when it is right to celebrate, where, how, what to buy and often overwhelming details. They forget that love does not know the time, space, material value, and so in May than a fixed date. Therefore, next time you want to celebrate the day of love, think yourself May 1 what it symbolizes and how can you do to be every day of the year.

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