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Patricia Ribeiro

Dia dos Namorados, Valentine's Day in Brazil

By June 12, 2010

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Today is Dia dos Namorados in Brazil. The words namorado and namorada (boyfriend and girlfriend) come from the same root as "enamored" and this day is all about romance. Although the date as we know it in this century, with all the hoopla about gift exchanges, was formalized by an advertising professional in the 1950s, the reason for celebrating love on June 12 comes from much further in the past.

Tomorrow is St. Anthony's Day. The Portuguese monk who died in the 13th century is a patron of matrimony. Through the centuries, girls would not only pray to St. Anthony for a husband ASAP, but also engage in less religious activities such as writing the names of three potential boyfriends on little pieces of paper and placing them under their pillow on the night of June 12 to June 13. The one they drew first in the morning would be their fate.

A much more disrespectful custom would be bullying the image of St. Anthony as a way to threaten him to help out. A typical way of doing that would be leaving the image, upside down, behind a door, until a proper boyfriend came by!

This weekend, a lot of Brazilians are enjoying special packages at nice hotels and restaurants. If you're in for this romantic ride, Feliz Dia dos Namorados.

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