Celebrating Love in Style
By Adeline J. Wells
February is widely recognized as the season of love. Hallmark Holiday or not, Valentine’s Day tends to rule the month with its bow and heart-shaped arrow, painting store aisles pink and white. While flowers and chocolates are popular tokens of affection in the United States, different countries from around the world have their own unique ways to celebrate love.
Known as Dragobete, Romania honors sentiments of love on February 24th of each year. A day dedicated to both lovers and nature, this holiday recognizes the engagements of the youth as well as the coming of the spring season. Lovers celebrate this day by picking fresh flowers, singing by rivers, washing their faces with snow for good luck, and dancing the hora, a traditional Romanian folk dance.
Regarded as one of the oldest observances, the Sisters’ Meal festival is celebrated on the 15th of March by the Miao people in Southern China. Young women collect leaves and wildflowers from the mountains to dye bowls of rice, which are then offered on silk fabric to young men walking the streets. Different artifacts and gifts are hidden within the rice, each holding different meanings; garlic implies the woman does not wish to be in contact with the man, while Chinese parsley means the woman wishes to marry. Both men and women sing and dance together, the women donning traditional dresses and silver headdresses.
Guatemala celebrates Valentine’s Day as El Día del Cariño, translating to The Day of Affection. Rather than just focusing on romantic lovers, this is a day to celebrate platonic love as well. Friends, families, and colleagues all share cards, candy and flowers, celebrating love in all its forms. There is also an annual Old Love Parade that takes place in Guatemala City, featuring the nation’s senior citizens and the love they share.
Valentine’s Day is taken to new heights in the Philippines, where hundreds of couples take part in mass public weddings across the nation. The nuptials are sponsored by the government, intended to assist couples who cannot afford to wed in a more traditional setting. In some areas the rings, cakes, and flowers are included, making February 14th the most popular wedding anniversary in the country.
Valentine’s Day is known as Trifon Zarezan Day in Bulgaria. Celebrated as Day of the Winemakers, the day is intended to honor St. Trifon, the patron saint of the vineyards. Traditionally, this was the first day of season’s work at the vineyards across Bulgaria’s countryside; laborers would trim the unnecessary branches and celebrate with a feast. Today, Bulgarians tend to blend the two holidays, participating in parades and honoring love over a bottle of wine.
No matter how or where one celebrates Valentine’s Day, love can always be celebrated in style. At Belvedere, our Genova Shoe is a favorite for the season; a classic silhouette with a slip-on design, this shoe was made with both high fashion and comfort in mind. Crafted from Genuine Alligator Leather, this shoe features a leather lining, a plain toe, and a leather sole imprinted with our emblem. Available in Dark Burgundy, Chocolate Brown, Navy, and traditional Black, the Genova is a smooth style that is destined to impress this February 14th.