‘If you want me, tell me now’
While spring lives in me,
When my laughter, full of energy
still spreads flames of poetry.’
(Giselda de Medeiros – ‘ Se tu me queres’)
Love, not in the time of cholera, but in the time of COVID-19 has its challenges.
In Brazil, Lover’s Day or Dia dos Namorados is celebrated on June 12th. This day is similar to Valentine’s day that occurs in other parts of the world. The date is chosen due to the feast of St Anthony of Padua who is known as the Saint of Love. Brazilian Catholics and people who believe in the Saint pray to him and, following traditions, even do some “Love rituals,” asking for his blessings to find their soulmate. One of those traditions of believers in Latin America is to turn Saint Anthony of Padua’s image upside down to overcome their suffering in love.
Most of the world chooses to celebrate love on February 14th,as Valentine’s day. In Brazil, February only means time for Carnival.
Only on June 12th, Gifts like flowers and chocolates are exchanged. People also like to surprise their lovers or their significant others by doing something surprising in the middle of the day. They also have date nights. Musical performances and festivals are held throughout the country. Gift giving is not limited to couples. This day is celebrated by exchanging gifts and sharing dinner with friends and relatives too.
Francesca is in Vancouver, almost 9000 kms away from Adrian who is at Fortaleza, so this year dia dos namorados will be different for them. They see the distance as a test of their love. “Being so far from each other is a challenge, but we will try to make this day special and memorable,” Francesca sighed, “ We have planned a movie marathon in which we will binge-watch our favourite movies together, while being virtually connected. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to go on a romantic walk on the beach together. It is difficult anticipating another lonely day, but we have hope that we will meet soon.”
“Simpatias” are home rituals that women participate in to find a good partner. They are simple rituals like putting a rose with a pinch of salt in a glass of water, and bathing in the water after two days. While asking Saint Anthony to send a good lover. Attaching a love note to a pot of basil and giving it to the object of your affection is also common.
In spite of the challenges you face if you are apart, there is no risk of sending cards or gifts to your loved ones , so go ahead, ‘ Faça
uma surpresa ao seu amor.’ (Surprise your lover).