Jun 12 – Valentine’s Day in Brazil

Most people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, but not Brazilians. In Brazil Dia dos Namorados – Valentine’s Day in Portuguese – is celebrated on June 12. But why?

Well, there are few reasons. The first and more important one is the Carnaval. The biggest event in the country takes place during the four days before Ash Wednesday, which falls between February 4 and March 10, depending on the year. Valentine’s Day would probably go unnoticed amongst Carnaval, so in order to avoid conflicts it was stablished that Valentine’s Day would fall on June 14. The romantic date started being celebrated in Brazil in 1949.

Another reason is its proximity to Saint Anthony’s Day on June 13. For those who don’t know, in Brazil and Portugal Saint Anthony is known as a patron saint of marriage. The saint is recognized for blessing couples with happy and prosperous marriages and for helping out single women to find a good husband or boyfriend. There’s an interesting old ritual, called simpatia, in the country in which single women would make all sorts of promises to the saint, and even keep his image upside down until the grace was given!

“Dia dos Namorados” is celebrated pretty much the way the date is celebrated in the U.S and other parts of the world, with gifts, flowers, jewelry and chocolates. So, if you happen to be in Brazil during this date, Feliz Dia dos Namorados!

If you want to learn more about Brazilian culture check out BRIC’s customized Brazilian Portuguese courses to learn not only the language but also the customs and traditions of the country.