Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

Dragobete February 19, 2009

Filed under: Old traditions — ivasil @ 10:41 pm

a-romanian-celebration-of-love1 Love, the force that sets fire to young hearts, has a day of its own in the Romanian folk calendar. It is February 24-th when Dragobete, a sort of Valentine’s Day, is celebrated. It is an early spring day not by accident, chosen by the time birds begin to find a mate. Probably, their nuptial dances inspired the people who felt that springtime, a time of rebirth for the entire nature, is also the time of young love.
The Dragobete is the day when the spring is said to begin. This day is dedicated to love and fertility and is also named the spring beginning. Unfortunately its origin isn’t known yet. Scientists have established many resemblances to other holidays celebrating love and concluded that they all had the same ancient, pre-Christian origin. Weather it  is a Celtic, a Roman or a Greek one, this shows that no matter where they live on this planet, people celebrate each year the pure, misterious and unpredictible feeling that love is.
Dragobete is similar to St. Valentine. People say that the one who don’t celebrate this day will not be loved during the year, but the one who does it will be in love every day of the current year.
The Dragobete is the day when couples form. This applies not only to people, but to birds also. The girls and young women use the snow which didn’t melt until this day for washing them in certain days of the year. The tradition has it that men shouldn’t annoy the women because they will have troubles.
The young people dance on the field and, if the weather is sunny, they pick snowdrops.
Birds mate and gather materials for their nest. If a bird didn’t mate on this day, it will not be able to do it anymore and it will fly chirping from place to place until it dies. Other version says that the bird won’t have babies until the next Dragobete.
Every thing began on this day will turn out just fine. The carpets and other textiles are shaken out, for the wealth to come back. Only working inside the house is allowed, for fear of illness.

Irina and kids from School 92, Bucharest


8 Responses to “Dragobete”

  1. M.F Says:

    Very interesting post. I thought Mărţişor was also dedicated to love in march.

  2. ivasil Says:

    Great! You know about Martisor!
    It’s a celebration of spring and renewal.
    Thank you for the comment.
    Irina and the kids.

  3. Marie-France Says:

    I have been sent a mărţişor from Romania for quite a number of years now. I usually wear it on my wrist and everybody in France asks me what that is. Could your kids explain why people offer mărţişor on the first day of march every year.
    Thank you et merci d’avance.

  4. Marie-France Says:

    Sorry, I found the explanations given by Liliana and her kids when having a thourough look at your blog. You are doing a great job.

  5. Gina Says:

    Interesting tradition!
    We haven’t anything of similar here! We celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, but it isn’t an Italian festivity, I suppose it has been imported from other countries through the media, just like for Halloween.

  6. ivasil Says:

    I’m not very fond of imported traditions. This Dragobete is very nice as it’s a day of no violence, of kindness and love. Quite a necessary celebration nowadays.
    Thanks for the comment, Gina.

  7. Liliana Says:

    I’m not fond of imported traditions either, but, since I am a teacher of English, I have to teach elements of anglo-saxon culture and civilization, too. Here’s this year’s Saint Valentine’s Day exhibition done by my kids:

  8. Gina Says:

    It’s the same for me Liliana since I teach English, even though in smaller way because I work with younger children. Anyway I couldn’t open your blog from here. It says the page doesn’t exist.

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