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Brazil’s Valentines Day: Boyfriend and Girlfriend Day

Are you wondering, “When is Valentine’s Day in Brazil?”

National Boyfriend and Girlfriend Day is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day in Brazil, a day set aside for lovers. On Boyfriend and Girlfriend (Valentine’s) Day, Brazil also keeps in mind St. Anthony of Padua, who is known for his teachings on love and marriage.

Learning about National Girlfriend and Boyfriend Day will help you to see Brazil through a clearer lens, in terms of its culture and its take on a holiday you may already be familiar with in your own country. Any successful language-learner can tell you that this is an essential step in mastering your target language, Portuguese.

And at PortuguesePod101.com, we hope to make this—and all—lessons both fun and informative!

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1. What is National Boyfriend and Girlfriend Day?

Also referred to as Lovers Day or Brazil’s Valentine’s Day, the most romantic and special date on the calendar for people with passion in their hearts is Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day. This day is set aside for lovers and sweethearts to express their love for each other through gifts and quality time, just like Valentines Day in other countries.

2. When is National Boyfriend and Girlfriend Day?

Big Red Heart

So, when is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Brazil? Each year, couples in Brazil celebrate Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day on June 12.

This is the eve of the Feast of St. Anthony. Saint Anthony of Padua is much revered in Brazil, and he is invoked to bless wedding ceremonies, because in his religious teachings, he always emphasized the importance of love and marriage. They call him the “Holy Matchmaker.”

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

How is Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day celebrated in Brazil? Read the Brazilian Portuguese text below to find out, and find the English translation below it.

A maioria dos casais trocam presentes, chocolates, flores e cartões nesse dia, para demonstrar o amor que sentem. Mas alguns casais de namorados fazem um plano mais elaborado- alguns vão ao seu restaurante preferido, outros preferem ir ao cinema, tem gente que prepara uma viagem romântica. Mas no final, o importante é passar esse dia ao lado de quem você ama.

Esse dia também é esperado por alguns solteiros e solteiras que estão à procura de alguém para casar, mas de uma forma um pouco diferente. Eles fazem simpatias com a imagem de Santo Antônio para encontrar um namorado ou conseguir a pessoa amada. As simpatias normalmente maltratam o santo, deixando-o de ponta-cabeça, ou separando-o do menino Jesus até o santo conseguir um marido para elas.

A teoria mais provável para o início do feriado no Brasil é a de que foi o publicitário João Dória quem bolou o feriado, influenciado pelo dia de São Valentim, para aquecer as vendas do mês de junho, um mês fraco para o comércio.

It is customary for couples to exchange gifts, chocolates, flowers, and cards on this day as an expression of their love. Some make elaborate plans for a special evening either at a favorite restaurant or perhaps the cinema, while others opt for a romantic getaway. But in the end, what matters is that you spend that day in the company of someone you love.

There are also some single men and women who eagerly await this day, because they are seeking marriage, but in rather a different form. They perform the simpatias (”sympathies̶ ;) ritual with the image of St. Anthony to help them to meet a boyfriend or find a loved one. The ritual usually involves abuse of the saintly image, leaving it upside down, or separating it from the holy child, Jesus, in order to win a spouse.

A very likely explanation of the origin of this holiday in Brazil is that the impresario John Doria came up with the idea, inspired by Valentine’s Day, to heat up sales in June, a slow trading month.

4. Nicknames for Sweethearts

Couple on Beach Wrapped in Blanket

How do Brazilian lovers affectionately refer to their loved ones?

Apart from “love”—the most commonly used, other pet names for a lover could be: amoreco (”beloved”), môre (”special”), fofo (”fluff”), fofinho (”cuddles”), minha vida (”my life”), meu bebê (”baby”), paixão (”passion”), coração (”heart”), xuxuzinho (”sweet pumpkin”), flor de maracujá (”passion flower”)… The list is endless. Many people like to create their own little pet names for their loved ones.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day

St. Anthony of Padua

Here’s the most important vocabulary you should know for Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day in Brazil!

  • Vermelho — “Red
  • Rosa — “Pink”
  • Presente — “Present”
  • Namorada — “Girlfriend”
  • Namorado — “Boyfriend”
  • Amar — “Love”
  • Flor — “Flower”
  • Dia dos Namorados — “Valentine’s Day” (or “Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day̶ ;)
  • Chocolate — “Chocolate”
  • Coração — “Heart”
  • Encontro — “Date
  • Abraçar — “Hug”
  • Cartão de dia dos namorados — “Valentine’s Day card”
  • Urso de pelúcia — “Teddy bear”
  • Santo Antônio, o santo casamenteiro — St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of weddings
  • Romance — “Romance”
  • Carta de amor — “Love letter”
  • Beijo — “Kiss”
  • Apaixonado — “In love
  • Bombom — “Candy with chocolate coating and fondant center”
  • Cupido — “Cupid

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Boyfriends and Girlfriends Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of National Boyfriend and Girlfriend Day in Brazil? Do you celebrate a similar holiday in your country? And, most important, which of the adorable Portuguese sweetheart nicknames are you most likely to start calling your xuxuzinho (”sweet pumpkin”)? ;) Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language, visit us at PortuguesePod101.com and begin your journey to language mastery! There’s something here for every learner, from insightful blog posts like this one to free Portuguese vocabulary lists to help you expand your word knowledge. You can also upgrade to a Premium Plus account to begin using our MyTeacher program, or set up a basic account to start chatting with fellow Portuguese learners on our forums!

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