- June 13 -

Dia dos Namorados - Lovers Day

Dia dos Namorados — translated as

Dia dos Namorados - Lovers Day

Dia dos Namorados — translated as "Lovers' Day", "Day of the Enamored", or "Boyfriends'/Girlfriends' Day"— is celebrated on June 12 as a holiday for lovers in Brazil, due to the date's proximity to Saint Anthony's Day on June 13. The date is celebrated in a manner similar to the way that Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 in other parts of the world with gifts, romantic activities, decorations, and festivities. However, the expression "Dia dos Namorados" is not only used in Brazil.

Background
Anthony of Padua, known as Saint Anthony, died on June 13, 1231 in Padua, Italy. In addition to having been canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, Anthony of Padua is recognized as a general in the Brazilian Army. In Brazil, the Dia dos Namorados is celebrated on June 12, which is Saint Anthony's Day Eve. Saint Anthony is recognized for blessing young couples with happy and prosperous marriages. Celebrations for Dia dos Namorados in Brazil and those for Valentine's Day in most other countries are similar. Typically, couples exchange romantic gifts, such as chocolates or flowers, and they may also share a "date night". Additionally, beautifying home decorations are common as a part of the celebration. The day is festive, with colorful street decorations, parades and carnivals. Common musical celebrations include samba dancing and other folk music celebrations. In 2011 and in 2012, the day was recognized online as the subject of a Google doodle.

Dia dos Namorados as a celebration for lovers is closely related to observances of Saint Anthony's Day. Although Saint Anthony's Day is celebrated in some countries on January 17 in association with Anthony the Great, Saint Anthony (of Padua)'s Day Eve or Saint Anthony's Day is a day of religious observance for many in Brazil and his homeland of Portugal. Single women perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend. In addition to prayer on the Eve, one might conceal a love letter in a pot of basil to pass to a prospective suitor.

The February 14th Valentine's Day is not celebrated in Brasil at all because it usually falls close to the Brazilian Carnival, which is celebrated in most other countries annually during the four days before Ash Wednesday, which falls between February 4 and March 10 depending on the year. Because of the absence of Valentine's Day and due to the celebrations of the Carnivals, Brazil is a popular tourist spot during February for Western singles who want to get away from the holiday. U.S. News & World Report declared it the number one country in the world to visit to escape Valentine's Day celebrations.

In other Portuguese speaking countries, mainly in Africa, Valentine's Day is referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" and celebrated the same day Valentine's Day is celebrated in February.

Coincidentally yet appropriately, Dia dos Namorados is celebrated on the same day as Loving Day, the anniversary of the 1967 US Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which made interracial marriage legal throughout the United States.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dia_dos_Namorados

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