Charmdate Review: Valentine’s Day Traditions in East Europe
Back in the dark days of the Soviet Union, even thinking of dating any Russian girls to mark the Western celebration of Valentine’s day was very much frowned upon.
There was a significant number of people back then who believed that Valentine’s Day was yet another unwelcome Western intrusion into the life and culture of what we now call the Former Soviet Union.
There was a large propaganda effort to douse the passion of men. Social media banners, for example, were wont to label Valentine’s Day as little more than a Western ruse to sell more flowers which is a romantic way to win the heart of the Russian woman of your dream.
But the countries of Eastern Europe have recently started to celebrate Valentine’s Day in earnest and with a lot of excitement. It hasn’t been too much of a stretch for those looking to chat with Russian ladies in Romania, for instance. They can easily do this with access to a Russia dating site.
Romanians after all traditionally celebrated their own “‘Lovers’ Day” on 24 February with their “Dragobete” festival . Conventionally on this occasion girls and boys from a particular community would pick flowers together and lovers would step on the toes of their partners to indicate who was the dominant person in a relationship. In recent times, especially with commercial influence invading from the US and the UK, the celebrations have metamorphosed to take place 10 days earlier, on the 14th of the month.
In Poland, men have been observing Valentine’s Day (Walentynki) since the collapse of Communism. Indeed, dating Russian ladies and those of other Eastern European nationalities around Valentine’s Day is now as popular in Poland as it is anywhere else.
A lot of Poles now make romantic pilgrimages to the small town of Chełmno, 30 miles northwest of Lódz in west-central Poland, because this is where the relics of , the patron saint of lovers, Saint Valentine, are preserved in the local parish church.
Valentine’s Day is now a romantic tradition celebrated by millions every year expressing love for Russian girls and those of other nationalities with gifts, flowers, chocolates and cards. The celebration is said to have originated in 269AD as a celebration of St Valentinus, who had been imprisoned for marrying soldiers who had been forbidden to wed. The saint is alleged to have healed his jailer’s daughter and fallen in love with her. It was when he was executed on 14 February 270AD, that he is said to have sent a handwritten note signed “from your Valentine”.
Eastern European countries have developed their own unique ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Many men simply hunt out the best Russian dating site. Others try to find a Russian wife by finding places to chat with Russian ladies.
In Slovenia, St Valentine (Zdravko) is one of the country’s patron saints of spring. So rather than looking at Russian ladies photos, everyone is expected to be working in the fields and tending the vineyards. Instead, Slovenians celebrate love on 12 March, which is St Gregory’s Day.
Estonians celebrate Valentine’s Day (Sõbrapäev), but it’s more about friendship than love. Estonians still decorate their homes and workplaces with bright colors ribbons, and enjoy music festivals. Some have even been known to enjoy dating Russian ladies and no doubt the odd Russia hot girl.