Love, love me do!

Some weeks ago I noticed that the windows of a few shops had been decorated with hearts and in shades of red and pink. At first, all those hearts in February seemed quite weird to me – where were the typical carnival masks and confetti anyway? Only then I realized that the stores had been decorated for Valentine’s day and not Carnival. This was very strange for a person who is used to celebrating Valentine’s day in June. I knew that Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th) is celebrated in several countries worldwide but had never before experienced it in February. For me, it’s like celebrating Christmas in October. Ok, that’s too much as Christmas is way bigger than Valentine’s, but it’s kind of odd for me seeing all those hearts scattered around in February.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Brazil with another name and in the name of a different saint. It’s called “Dia dos Namorados” (which can be translated as boyfriend/girlfriend’s day) and it is celebrated on June 12th, the eve of Saint Antony’s day. He is known as a matchmaker so many people ask him for a little ”help”  in finding them a boyfriend or girlfriend. They do simpatias – asking for a boyfriend, fiancé,  husband, girlfriend, fiancée or wife.

Simpatias are popular traditions and beliefs that are very common in Brazil. They are superstitious rituals people do to achieve an intention or an action. There are simpatias or spells for everything including finding your soul mate, your better half, your significant other or whatever denomination you prefer.

If things are difficult and you can’t find that special person anywhere you may even ask both saints, Valentine and Anthony, for help. Well, there’s no harm in trying, and one of them might even answer your request. Just choose one of the spells below and get to work.

Simpatias to Saint Anthony:
1 – Buy an image of the saint and make your request. To be sure you’re going to achieve what you want (get a boyfriend/girlfriend) you should take baby Jesus away from his arms saying you’ll only give him back when you have your beloved one in your arms. Some people don’t take baby Jesus away but put Saint Anthony’s image inside the fridge, freezer or upside down inside a glass instead.

2. On the morning of the 12th of June buy one meter of any blue ribbon and write the full name of the beloved person on it. At night you should look at the sky and count seven stars without pointing at them. Ask the saint for his help. On the next day tie the ribbon at the saint’s feet and leave it there till you find your better half.

3. Tie two ribbons around Saint Anthony’s arm – a red and a white one. Ask for a boyfriend, husband, girlfriend – whatever you prefer –  and then say a prayer and hang the picture upside down under your bed. Only turn the image upright when you find that special person.

Some people guarantee these spells work. Those poor saints!

[Português]

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