Valentine’s Day is a holiday where people exchange presents, candies, flowers, and other things to their loved ones, in the United States and other countries across the world, but there are other holidays with similar traditions, like in Brazil. In Brazil, people celebrate “Dia dos Namorados”, which means Lover’s Day, Day of the Enamored, or “Boyfriends’ / Girlfriends’ Day.” Different from Valentine’s Day, which involves celebrating friendships and both familial and loving relationships, Dia dos Namorados is limited more for couples.
The story of Valentine’s Day is about Bishop St. Valentine, who had been forbidden from performing marriages by a Roman emperor, but he didn’t follow this rule. As a punishment, he got arrested and was eventually sentenced to death. While St. Valentine was in prison, he got many cards and letters from people that were in love or valued love. On February 14, 270 he was killed. This date turned out to be associated with romantic love and became more popular in the Middle Ages. However, Dia dia Namorados has a totally different story.
Dia dos Namorados is celebrated on June 12 because it is Saint Anthony’s Day Eve. This saint was known for blessing couples with prosperous relationships and marriages, also recognized as the “marriage saint.” Traditionally many single women used to perform “simpatias”, which were popular rituals to find a good partner. Saint Anthony, whose name was Anthony of Padua, died on June 13, 1231, in Padua, Italy, and was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. Even though both holidays have different stories and dates, they are pretty similar in tradition.
People usually make cards to express their feelings on Valentine’s Day. In this festival of love people also give letters, flowers or presents. Common symbols are hearts, red roses, and Cupid. During Dia dos namorados, couples exchange presents, flowers, chocolate, etc. Usually, they go out to have romantic dinners. People who are single often go to nightclubs, bars, because they usually have something special on this occasion. Even with its differences, Valentine’s Day and Dia dos Namorados have a beautiful tradition of celebrating this beautiful feeling called love.