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Why Do Brazilians Celebrate Valentine’s Day on June 12th and Not on February 14th?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Celebrated for the 76th consecutive year, the most awaited date for couples in love is coming! However, differently from the USA and some countries in Europe, here in Brazil Valentine’s Day is celebrated on June 12th and not February 14th .

But why does our country differ from others by not celebrating on the most romantic day and month of year? Here I come to tell you why this happens!

‘From your Valentine’

First, we need to understand the origin story of Valentine’s Day in the USA, the story of St. Valentine.

He was a bishop who lived in the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD, when there were many wars going on. At the time, the emperor, Claudius II forbade marriage because he thought that unmarried soldiers could fight better without worrying about their children or families. But going against the emperor’s wishes, Valentine performed many union ceremonies secretly.  

Until the time came when he was discovered, and by order of the emperor he was arrested and sentenced to death. But even in prison, the bishop received letters and flowers from people who defended and trusted in love and wanted to show him gratitude for making their weddings possible. 

Not only did it bring about the union between two people in love, but he also fell in love with the blind daughter of one of the jailers. Even though he knew they couldn’t go on, he insisted on this passion and, belief has it, that Valentine managed to make her recover her vision. 

Before his death, on February 14th, 259 D.C, he wrote a farewell letter to his love, ending in “from your Valentine”. And that gave rise to the tradition of exchanging letters on this date that North Americans adopted.

Romance or just Marketing?  

Most commemorative dates carry a deep and beautiful meaning behind all the celebrations, and we imagine that in Brazil, despite being celebrated on different dates, wouldn’t be different, having deep origin stories. But, actually, an excellent marketing strategy was responsible for creating a national holiday to profit off people in love.  

It all started in 1948, created by the publicist João Doria, father of former governor of São Paulo, João Dória Júnior. He was the owner of an advertising agency and was hired by the Clipper Exhibition store to increase their sales in June, wich were usually weak. In order to do that, he thought about celebrating Valentine’s Day in June and not February, since the holiday considerably moved the economy of the month in the countries that celebrated it.  

In addition to giving rise to the date, the publicist also was the author of the first slogan of the campaign: “It’s not just kisses that prove love”.  

The idea was launched in 1948, but was just adopted by Brazilians a year later, and nowadays is the third most lucrative commemorative date for commerce in the country.

The Saint of Matrimony

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/ Unsplash

Regardless of whether it was a date created as a business strategy, Dória’s goal of increasing June’s earnings was successful. But this isn’t just about sales. 

The choice of date also has a meaning behind it, leading up to St. Anthony’s Day, or as he is better known, the Matchmaker Saint. His story began around 1200, when there was a major economic crisis, and men who couldn’t pay their debts went to prison. As a result many single women were unable to marry or start a family. 

Coming from a noble and rich family, one of the acts that St. Anthony is famous for was being able to negotiate and pay the debts of these men, so that they could be released and marry.  

Nowadays in Brazil we follow various traditions related to the saint, from turning his image upside down when having a difficult time getting married, to the tradition of the St. Anthony’s cake, in which Parishes of the Saint sell cakes with some medals inside, and if you find the medal it means you will get married soon.

The most romantic day abroad

Valentine’s Day can differ according to the culture and costumes of each country. Not all countries follow the North American traditions to celebrate this date, and it isn’t only here in Brazil that the USA commemoration isn’t practiced, in China and Romania they have their own story to celebrate love.  

The Day of the Bride and Groom Birds

In Romania the Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 24th, but the holiday isn’t only known for celebrating love, but also the beginning of spring, famous for being the “Day of Bride and Groom Birds”, precisely because it is the end of February, and the birds begin to pick branches to start mating.  

The story is about a character from Romanian mythology, son of Baba Dochia, which was related to the end of winter and the coming of spring and the reblooming. Your son, Dragobete when he was young, fell in love intensely for a woman and soon they wanted to marry, but your mother prevented the two from coming together. 

Check out this video to know more about the story: 

Night of the Seven 

The Chinese calendar differs from the others in that it follows the lunar calendar, and the date of the festival always falls on the seventh day of the seventh month. 

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/ Unsplash

According to tradition, the creation is linked to the legend of the “Weaver and Cowboy” , who fell in love and decided to live together, but they were prevented from being together and became stars, and in the sky there was a streaked, creating a huge river to separate them. But on the seventh night of the seventh month of each lunar year, the birds would line up their wings so that a bridge was formed so that the couple could meet more than once.   

Follow the video to understand more about the story:

As we can see, around the world there is not only the story of St. Valentine, several countries have and follow their own tradition and history according to their culture, some by Catholic means and others by mythological beings.


The article above was edited by Fernanda Miki Tsukase.

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My name is Larissa Vilapiano Prais, I'm 18 years old and I'm a journalism student at Cásper Líbero college. My passion is writing, and as a hobbie I have running.