Traditions in Romania: Dragobete and the Celebration of Love
Way before the imported Valentine’s Day, Romania celebrated its own day of love, Dragobete, on February 24. One of the most beautiful Romanian traditions, Dragobete is a symbol of youth, love, hope and nature rebirth. Dragobete has several mythological representations, depending on local beliefs and superstitions. However, all of them are positive, Dragobete being a protector of birds, a symbol of spring or a god of love.
Traditionally, on this day, young people perform several rituals to find love and happiness in the year to come. They search the woods for spring flowers, dance and even kiss in front of the village community, a fact that back in the day was as solid as an engagement commitment. Being alone on this day was a definite sign of bad luck in love for the rest of the year.
Although the modern times and values have replaced the more traditional expressions of the past centuries, Dragobete remains one of the most authentic Romanian traditions and a good reminder of the ultimate need of love in our lives.