On February 14, Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world, but obviously it is not the only day of the year when couples can show each other how they feel. Throughout the year there are various traditions and customs for love and lovers which also have special days or moments dedicated to them in Spain. Take a look at some of the most well-known celebrations.
The flowers of Saint Jordi
The patron saint of Catalonia, St. Jordi, is celebrated on April 23 in Catalonia. It is also a day for lovers. To celebrate, couples (along with loved ones and family members) give one another roses or books. Because of this, in the morning, the streets are filled with flower and book sellers (especially in las Ramblas in Barcelona) trying to motivate the many passersby who celebrate the day to buy them and reflecting the popularity of this custom.
The Valencian “Mocadorà“
On October 9, coinciding with the Day of the Autonomous Region of Valencia, the “mocadorà,” in honor of Saint Dionysius, patron saint of Valencian lovers is celebrated. The history of this tradition goes back to the 16th century, when the celebration of James I was prohibited under Philip V of Spain. The popular response came from the guild of Valencian confectioners who created sweets that looked like male and female genitals and which are popularly known as “piruleta” and “tronador” (or little cakes made of marzipan). Men gave these sweets to the women they loved and in order to hide them while bringing them to their sweethearts, it was popular to hide the sweets in a handkerchief (a “mocador” in Valencian), which later became the name of the custom.
The Love Locks of Seville
This romantic tradition originated in Rome. According to legend, couples have to engrave their names on a padlock, then lock it to a specific place on the Milvio Bridge and throw the key into the Tiber River, so that they will be together forever. This romatic Italian tradition has spread to other places around the world, and in Spain it can be found on the Triana Bridge in Seville. Lovers close the lock on the bridge and throw the key into the Guadalquivar River. The only inconvenience associated with the tradition is that it can affect the structure of the bridge in question or the river where the keys are being thrown. This has motivated some governments, like that of Italy, to take measures and remove padlocks in order to safeguard the integrity of the architecture.
The romantic love pins tradition is one of the most interesting and the one which attracts the most tourists. On June 13, at the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida (Madrid), single people throw 13 pins into the holy water and then put their hands in. The number of pins that stick to their palms shows how many suitors they will have that year.
What do you think about these traditions? We hope to have inspired you to include a little something Spanish in you day of love.
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