No more Valentine’s Day, just Dragobete

Dragobete – How to celebrate love in Romanian style

Dragobete is the Romanian counterpart of St. Valentine. On 24th of February in Romania love and the beginning of spring are celebrated.

Dragobete is a Dacian celebration with pagan roots. Dragobete is a mythological deity like Eros or Cupid. It is said that he was the son of Baba Dochia, the main character in a myth related to spring arrival. This holiday is also known as “the day when the birds are betrothed”, because it is believed that this is the day when birds start building their nests. The day of 24th of February was believed to be the beginning of the farming year, the day when the bear leaves its lair, the beginning of spring.


There are many practices connected to this special day depending on the area. The maidens must collect the remaining snow so they can melt it down. It is believed that this snow is “born from fairies’ smile”. The water resulted is used to make magic potions. This is the day when snowdrops can be picked.


Young people used to dance and sing in the middle of the village. The boys also used to make fires at the forest’s edge while the girls picked flowers which were kept next to an icon in order to use them to make love spells. Dragobete is an auspicious celebration. Dragobete protects people throughout the year from any diseases and brings them wealth and happiness.

Article by Andreea Andrei