Today I want to talk about Valentine's day and share a little bit on how it is celebrated in Brazil. It’s a conversational article and you're invited to be part of it. Feel free to share on the comments how Valentine's day is celebrated in your country.
In America, Valentines Day has existed for many, many years and we all know the story behind it (if you need a refresh, click here). In Brazil, the Valentine's Day has a completely different origin and it is very interesting to see how it became such a huge celebration in that country. The Dia dos Namorados (Lover's Day) in Brazil was born from a pure commercial strategy from a Department Store in an attempt to boost sales in the month of June. That was it! Crazy, huh?
In the early fifties, a famous marketer in Brazil was hired by a large department store to come up with a marketing idea that would boost their sales for that month, as it was the weakest month of the year for sales. The marketer then, inspired by Mother’s Day, another successful celebration in Brazil (which translates into strong sales) decided to create a date where lovers would exchange gifts to show their affection for each other. He then picked the day of June 12th which is the day prior to Saint Anthony`s day, June 13th. A date widely celebrated throughout the country. A very smart move!
Saint Anthony is well known in Brazil as a marriage saint, and traditionally, the women pray for him to deliver a decent man in to their lives. That’s how I got my husband! I swear! Funny enough, Saint Anthony delivered mine on June 13th and that's when I celebrate my marriage anniversary! But back to the genius marketer...He then, created a few slogans that caught every lover`s attention and from that year on, Dia dos Namorados became a national celebration. Every year this version of Valentines Day becomes bigger and bigger and it currently makes the rank as the third biggest holiday in revenue for that country.
Another great difference between the two countries is who celebrates it. As I was researching about Valentines day around the world, which was my original idea for this blog post - but got discouraged by so many conflicting info - I ran into this article from Huff Post, which mentions Brazil’s Dia dos Namorados. Just like many other articles on Brazil that I’ve read since I moved to this country, that was not accurate. We DO NOT exchange presents with families and loved ones, it is a lovers (only lovers), married or dating, celebration!
As a matter of fact, Brazilians usually joke about the Motels being fully booked on that day. In case you don’t know, Motels in Brazil are Hotels where you go specifically to...grasp...“love” each other. So you gotta make sure you book it ahead of time. LOL!!! But wait, that’s not the main point of the celebration. On June 12th, we go over the top to gift our sweethearts. The most common presents are flowers and chocolates, just like in America, but many expensive items are on the list; things like jewelry, perfumes, clothing, etc. A date is also a must! Candle lit dinners are highly sought- after!!! Valentine's Day in Brazil is a big deal and no one wants feel left out.
Whatever way you celebrate it, I wish you all a beautiful and full of love Valentine's day!