Dragobete is a traditional holiday celebrated on February 24th in Moldova and Romania. Dragobete is the holiday of love, youth, and nature, and is often considered the Romanian equivalent of Valentine’s Day.
This traditional holiday marks the beginning of spring and celebrates love and fertility. People gather to celebrate with singing, dancing, traditional games, and meals. Singles come together to find love, while couples celebrate their love by giving gifts and sharing romantic moments together. It is also common to go into the woods to pick flowers and wild herbs to use as talismans of luck and happiness. The Dragobete holiday is an opportunity for people to connect with their cultural roots and celebrate with their loved ones and community.
According to legend, Dragobete is the son of the old woman Dochia. For Moldovans, Dragobete is the god of love, like Cupid or Eros. He became the protector of the love of those who meet on February 24th, a day also considered the “engagement” of birds. During Dragobetele, birds mate and start building their nests. Just like birds, to ensure being loved throughout the year, girls and boys aspire to meet their beloved during Dragobetele.