Love Celebrations in Romania: Dragobete vs Valentine’s Day

There’s no shortage of celebrations in Romania.

On the contrary, Romanian traditional heritage is rich in all sorts of folk festivities and rituals.

Among them, there are those related to love – a topic rich in symbols across all cultures.

To the Western world, love celebrations are represented by Valentine’s Day, whereas Romanians have had the tradition of local Dragobete.

Interested to see how these two celebrations compare? Have a seat and enjoy this article.

Legend Has It…

Dating back to ancient Roman customs, Dragobete and Valentine’s Day both carry symbols related to

But the Romanian tradition has a distinctive set of customary beliefs and superstitions attached to it.

Celebrated 10 days after Valentine’s Day, this festive folk event got its name from Dragobete. Son of an ancient feminine figure which brings the spring back, Dragobete was the Romanian equivalent of Eros.

In the Romanian village, Dragobete was celebrated by young men and women who revealed their relationships. They would pick flowers, chant songs by the river, or dance ‘hora’ – the Romanian folk dance.

But is this tradition still alive? It has just partly survived, as some Romanians still exchange gifts on the 24th of February or revive old customs in local communities.

Valentine’s – a Recent Addition to Celebrations in Romania

On the other hand, it’s understandable why Valentine’s Day has taken over and gained popularity.

Easier to relate to, it is quite widely encountered within the urban populace. This is why you’ll see plenty of Valentine’s Day-themed parties or dining nights.

If you and your partner are in Bucharest, Romania on the 14th of February, there are several options to spend the day:

If, however, Dragobete would be something you’d like to see, we recommend the private half-day Bucharest tour. It includes the Village Museum, where you’ll be able to witness the Dragobete fair between the 19th and 21st of February.

But what exactly happens at the open-air Village Museum?

Once you get inside (no entrance fee), you’ll see Romanians showcasing their traditional attire, local foods, and beverages like:

  • “cozonac” – sweet dough with nut filling
  • peasant pies
  • organic cheese specialties
  • delicious meat products.

After you have a taste of Romanian cuisine, you’ll admire the traditional clothing pieces and pottery.

As with all celebrations in Romania, Dragobete is an occasion for people to enjoy the communal life and start over.

We’re telling you: get ready to experience a joyful time with people who still have a spiritual connection to nature.

And what better way to end the day than by attending the shared evening tour and traditional dinner afterward? You’ll taste even more Romanian dishes and connect with other excited tourist fellows.

Sure, the idea of spending a whole Valentine’s Day in Romania may seem a bit outlandish at first. But this country has one of the best natural scenery Europe has to offer.

That makes Romania a ‘romantic’ destination, even though a rather unlikely one.

Ready to let yourself be surprised? Ask for more details on how you can enjoy love celebrations in Romania.


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