The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum in Bucharest on February 24-26 will mark ‘Dragobete, the Lovers’ Day with the Romanians’ by a number of cultural events.
Thus the museum will offer visitors a programme including love songs of Romanian folk music, customs and traditions that are specific to the festival mentioned before, theatre, poetry, prize awarding competitions and much joy.
The music played by the quartet of the Princess Margareta Foundation or by Maestro Dumitru Zamfira, by the Cucii group of customs and traditions of the village of Branesti, Ilfov County (southern Romania), by the Lautarii din Teleorman village music band, by the Dunarica folklore ensemble of the village of Nasturelu, Teleorman County (southern Romania) or by the Asteria ensemble of the Greek Union of Romania, the poetry recitals, but also the shadow theatre or the ‘masks in love’ of the Masca Theatre are only a few of the unique moments promised by the hosts.
There will also be handicraftsmen from all over Romania, produce of traditional and bio-cuisine, such as cakes, pies and ginger bread, workshops for original martisoare and folk adornments, which can be a beautiful present to be offered to the beloved ones.
Being a symbol of spring, the martisoare are offered on March 1 to females as good luck and happiness bearers. They traditionally consist of a red and white little bow (red signifies winter and white, spring), to which one must add other symbols of good luck: a four-leaf clover, a horseshoe, a chimney sweep, a heart. This symbol is worn a week or two after which it is hanged in the trees that are to blossom.
Every year, on February 24, there is a festival in the Romanian folk calendar: the Dragobete, an event that marks the beginning of spring and the revival of nature.
Being a mythological divinity resembling Eros, the God of Love in Greek mythology, and Cupid or Amor, the Roman God of Love, Dragobete, who is also known as Dragomir, is considered to be the son of Baba Dochia in Romanian folk belief.
Being impetuous and inconstant, the Dragobete differs from the mildness of Saint Valentine in the Roman Catholic tradition and is imagined as a strong, handsome and loving lad, who lives in woods most of the time.
The Dragobete was taken up from the old Dacians, who perceived him as a match-making god and as a witness to the wedding of all animals in heaven in early spring. In the course of time he became the protector of the love of people who meet on the Dragobete’s Day, a love that will last the whole year, such as the one of birds that ‘get engaged’ on this day.