Hailing from Romania, Dragobete is observed as a celebration of love and springtime. The story goes that Baba Dochia, the mythological woman responsible for bringing in spring, had a son named Dragobete. The son became responsible for bringing new love into the world.
Depending on the region, it may take place on any day during the last week of February. Some of the traditions associated with Dragobete are very similar to Valentine’s, such as exchanging gifts. Others are a little more unique, such as putting basil under your pillow in order to dream of your future husband.
4. Tu B’Av
Also known as a “Jewish Valentine’s Day”, Tu B’Av is a moveable holiday that usually falls around the latter part of summer. Traditionally celebrated to mark the beginning of grape harvesting season, it grew in popularity as a romantic holiday for its association with various important events in the Talmud. Today, the holiday is celebrated as the perfect day for weddings and the renewal of vows.
3. Dia dos Namorados
Since Valentine’s Day falls so close to Carnival, lovers in Brazil celebrate romance on June 12th instead. The holiday falls on the eve of Saint Anthony’s day. In this region, Saint Anthony is seen as having the ability to bless young couples with a happy marriage.
The celebration is an all-out extravaganza. Parades, street decorations, and music fill the air. Residents decorate their homes and couples exchange gifts all in the name of love. One sweet tradition involves placing a love letter inside a pot of basil and giving it to someone you admire.
2. The Feast of Saint Mark
Falling on April 25th, Venetians honor the patron saint of their city with a springtime festival. Alongside gondola races, concerts, and a day off from work, revelers in Venice, Italy also celebrate love.
Also known as the Festival of the Blooming Rose, people will traditionally give loved ones a rose bud as a symbol of love and romance. The bud symbolizes the beginning of love.
1. White Day
In Eastern Asian countries, White Day is celebrated on March 14th as an answer to Valentine’s Day. Since women typically give out gifts on Valentine’s Day in these countries, White Day is the day men get to answer back with their own presents. Just as the name suggests, most gifts are white in color.
We’ve all heard that such holidays are just a way for candy companies to make money. Well, it’s actually very true when it comes to White Day. The National Confectionery Industry Association in Japan is to blame. In 1978 the group began to sell the holiday as a way for men to “pay back” women for all the chocolate and candy from Valentine’s.