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