If you missed to celebrate the St. Valentine's Day, then it is time for you to get to Moldova and get ready for the DRAGOBETE. This is a day that brings love and sun to all men and women. Celebrated on the 24th of February it required the outfit that one usually keeps for special occasions. If the weather didn't keep company, the youth would gather at somebody's house. Otherwise, everyone would spend the time outside, boys, having the task to find woods for the fire, while girls would pick some of the early flowers that blossomed under the snow. The flowers were used later in the magic formulas for the chosen ones. Sometimes the girls collected water from the snow or strawberry flowers. The water preserved with great care had magic properties. People used to say that the water was born out of the fairies smile and the girls, after using it were more beautiful and attractive.
Everyone gathered around burning fires in the hills, chatting and discussed jokes with erotic aspect. At lunch the girls ran to the village. According to custom, each boy followed the girl he fallen in love with and if the he one was quick-footed and the she whom he chased liked him, then a longer kiss in sight of all would be the sign of love. The Kiss meant in fact the trial engagement of the two, at least for a year, often this kind of engagements bringing the true rings.
It was believed that young people will not fall in love for the following year if they skipped the celebration, in addition, it was a bad sign if a girl or a boy have not even met during Dragobete a representative of the opposite sex, the general belief saying that the whole year those were not to be loved. Adults had their part in Dragobete. Thus, women thought that it was a perfect time to get their hands on a man ... stranger who did not belong to the village. Once it happened, the women had the luck on their side to get attention from men all year round. Women had to make sure to offer good food to the fowl in the yard, and sky birds, none of the such creature being sacrificed during this day. Commonly, the feast of love was considered a good omen for small affairs, not for large ones. Dragobete was believed to be a sturdy, strong, handsom and very loving lad, whom she could accidentally meet in forests. Some girls and women really wanted to be punished by Dragobete, working during this day and then taking the forest road, here being"forced" to be loved by Dragobete.
Even if "punishing" women, it is believed that Dragobete brought protection and luck to the lovers and young people in general, being considered a genuine Moldovan Cupid. The origin of this celebration comes from the cycles of nature, especially the world of birds. This is also an explanation why the bird was considered one of the oldest gods of nature and love. Well, Romanians and Moldovans named this celebration Dragobete or Bird's Fiance, saying that this was the day they coupled and made their nest. Later from the birds the habit was acquired by humans. The motivations for such an acquisition were deep, since birds were regarded as messengers of the gods, the Greek word "bird" really meaning"message of heaven".
In our days, thee question rise: Why don't we find a place in the string of holidays for the Dragobete, one of the oldest traditions belonging to who we are, imitating in turn the same holidays as Westerners?
The essential functions of traditional feasts was that of restoring the agreement of human communities with God and the Universe. Let's bring more often the birds, the animals and flowers into our minds and transform our days for at least one hour into celebration of love!
_____________________________ U P D A T E "Clowns without Borders"_______________________
Today - February 28th, the last day of Winter, I want to update you on how a group of facebookers got to organize an event to celebrate the DRAGOBETE day in a modern way. About 150 people got invited by a group of initiative. It started all in the evening in an office space, that in the weekend was free. It lasted till morning. Some sound equipment was hired and wine on the tables. The entrance fee was included for a fund raising and the food and drinks helped to cover the expenses for the music and space. Lots of surprises were organized, many art people, tv and radio representatives attended out of curiosity. But the final and surprising event was that out of nowhere suddenly the atmosphere was revived by a group of weirdos. The three started, absolutely unexpectedly, in a corner of the room, to interpret each of his own instrument. The public did not let too much to wait and warmed the atmosphere with applause. It was only later discovered that the 3 crazy people were representatives of "Clowns Without Borders - Canada" a humanitarian organization that has existed since 1993. They travel the world to support children in need and raise smiles and hope.
Armed conflicts, refugee camps, natural disasters and poverty are contexts and stressful events for children, everywhere. In these difficult circumstances, Clowns Without Borders believes in the power of laughter to ease the suffering of the soul. http://vimeo.com/9796747
Today they are in Moldova Moldova to bring a ray of light in our orphanages. All next week they will meander through the children homes cares in the country giving smiles and little bit of happiness to children without parents.