The battle between the ones who celebrate Valentine’s Day and the ones who prefer Dragobete, the Romanian equivalent of Valentine’s Day is taking large. In social media, the people who are pro American holiday flooded the news feeds with statuses and photos with hearts, chocolates, teddy bears and messages of love. The people who support the Romanian holiday protested by statuses full of anger, disapproval, and color black and there also have been some protests on this issue (https://www.facebook.com/DRAGOBETEROMANIA?ref=ts&fref=ts ). No matter which would be the correct choice, let’s find out some not so known issues about this event.
It is a celebration of Slavic origin and it is documented only since 1774, if you were to believe the Explanatory Dictionary of Romanian language. In fact, there are many theories regarding the origin of this celebration, and the name that it carries. The most compelling of these is that the celebration but also its name are of Slavic origin and come from the name of the day before February 24, Finding the Head of John the Baptist who reads in Slavic like this: Glavo-Obretenia. The Romanians adopted the celebration by many names (Vobritenia, Bragovete, Rogobete etc.), until the name version that we know today imposed: Dragobete.
Some legends say that Valentine’s Day was Dochia’s son, a young man half human and hand angel. Others say he was a young passionate boy who dishonored girls he would find in the woods. Popular belief says that on February 24, all birds and animals start mating, they begin to build their nest and Dragobete was a protector of birds and the holiday itself was about fertility and rebirth of nature. Young men and women had to celebrate this day in order to be in love for the rest of the year.
Because of the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendar, the celebration took place either on 24 or on March 1. Young men and women went to pick spring flowers. If guys found wild strawberries in bloom, they would give them to the girls. Also in the day of Dragobete, some young people became blood brothers and also the girls had to touch a man from the village in order to be amorous for the whole year. In some places, real parties were organized with plenty of food and dancing.
There are some habits on this day: no animals or birds are killed, no sew, there is no agricultural work, men should not offend women, the last snow was gathered by the unmarried girls the night before Dragobete to use it for purposes of beauty and for magic potions making. Another habit that is worth mentioning is that if you step on the feet of your partner on Dragobete during the entire year that person will hold the dominant role in the relationship. It is said that those who celebrate this day are safe from diseases throughout the year, and the habits list can go for a long time.
Come to Hotel Alpin to surprise your partner and take advantage of the special offer of February 23 to 18, when you have 50% discount on therapies in Vitarium Spa and 15% discount on a la carte orders in our restaurants.