On 24th February, Romania is celebrating the Dragobete – if you want a Romanian Equivalent of St. Valentines day. Dragobete has however an interesting story, a legend worth sharing.
It’s believed that he is the son of Dochia – a mean woman symbolizing winter. Dragobete is the opposite – a being full of joy, loved, of course, by girls. But he is not perfect – and in fact some say he managed to annoy Virgin Mary herself by trying to make her fall in love. As a punishment, Virgin Mary transformed him in a plant called “navalnic”. (It is indeed a legend that includes pagan and christian motives.)
On Dragobete’s Day one cannot work – the field, in the house, to sew, to weave etc. You may however clean your house – a sign of new, fresh, good. Also couples that want to stay together and in love must kiss today. Single women should see a man today – in order for them not to remain single the whole year. Also in some parts, single woman gather the last snow they find, they melt it for it is believed that this water has magical properties in love rituals. Also young people go to the field and gather the flowers that appeared – and then the boys will offer bouquets to the girl they like.
Dragobete is the protector of love, joy and fertility. He’s Dacian name is believed to com from “trago” – meaning “he”, symbol of fertility, and “pede” – “legs. It is a nice legend and there are nice symbols. Today is a day of joy – young people spending it together, of love, young single man and women finding each other (the guys try to catch the girl they like and kiss her). Enjoy this day!