Dragobete is a traditional Romanian holiday celebrated on the 24th February. Dragobete was the son of Baba Dochia, who represents the main character of the myth linked to the arrival of spring and the end of the harsh winter. Because of his infinite kindness, he was chosen – according to some sources, by the Virgin Mary – to be the Guardian of Love.


Dragobete, Romanian Valentine's Day

The day is particularly known as "the day the birds are betrothed". It is at this time that the birds begin to build their nests and mate. On this day, locally considered the first day of spring, boys and girls pick spring flowers and sing together. Young girls scooped up snow that lay on the ground in many villages and then melted it, using the water in magic potions throughout the rest of the year.

Those who participate in Dragobete customs are supposed to be protected from illnesses, especially fevers, for the rest of the year. Weather permitting, girls and boys pick snowdrops or other early spring plants for the person they are courting. In Romania, Dragobete is known as a day for lovers, much like Valentine's Day.

It is a common belief in some parts of Romania that, during this celebration, stepping over a partner's foot leads to the dominant role in the relationship. Dragobete customs vary from region to region.

In the countryside, there is an old tradition that girls and boys go into the woods to pick flowers. When they return home, the tradition says that the boys ran after the girls to kiss them. If the girl loved the boy, she lets him kiss her. There is a saying in Romania that makes a lot of sense about this: “Dragobete kisses the girls”.

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Today, Romanians celebrate Dragobete, their Valentine's Day. Many customs vary from region to region in Romania. The beginning of Spring heralds love. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #February 24 #roumania #dragobete

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