DRAGOBETE ou la FÊTE de l'amour chez les Roumains

DRAGOBETE
Équivalent roumain de Saint Valentin, le Dragobete, fils de Baba Dochia, était célébré le 24 février. Cette fête est sans doute liée au début du printemps, quand la nature s'éveille, l'ours quitte son abri d'hiver et les oiseaux commencent à faire leur nid.
Entité mythologique similaire à Éros ou à Cupidon, le DRAGOBETE est différent de Valentin, le doux saint de la traditon catholique, étant un bel homme impéteux. Hérité des Daces, chez lesquels il était un entremetteur et un parrain des animaux, le Dragobete est devenu chez les Roumains le protecteur de l'amour de ceux qui se rencontrent le 24 février, jour considéré aussi comme celui des "fiançailles" des oiseaux.
Ce jour-là, les villages roumains résonnaient de la joie des jeunes et de la phrase Dragobetele sărută fetele. (Le Dragobete embrasse les filles.)
Dans la croyance populaire, ceux qui participaient à cette fête étaient protégés des maladies pendant toute l'année, et surtout de la fièvre. On croyait aussi que le Dragobete assurait aux paysans une année d'abondance.
La veille de la fête, les jeunes filles ramassaient les derniers restes de neige, appelée "neige des fées", et en conservaient l'eau pendant l'année pour se faire belles et pour des incantations d'amour.
Vêtus de leurs habits du dimanche, les jeunes filles et les jeunes hommes se rencontraient devant l'église et allaient chercher des fleurs dans les bois et les prés. Dans le sud de la Roumanie, chaque fille retournait au village en courant, poursuivie par un gars à qui elle plaisait. Si le jeune homme la rattrapait et qu'il plût à la fille, celle-ci l'embrassait en public. C'était le signe de leurs fiançailles pour une année ou plus. Ainsi cette fête était-elle une occasion pour la communauté de savoir quels mariages auraient lieu en automne.
Les gens plus âgés ne restaient pas non plus passifs, le jour du Dragobete étant consacré aux soins portés aux volailles des basses-cours et aux oiseaux. Ce jour-là on ne tuait pas d'animaux, pour ne pas empêcher les accouplements. La tradition voulait que si les femmes mariées touchaient un homme d'un autre village, elles seraient aimantes toute l'année.

DRAGOBETE


Fiu al Babei Dochia, Dragobetele era sărbătorit pe 24 februarie. Sărbătoarea de Dragobete este echivalentul românesc al sărbătorii Valentine's Day, sau ziua Sfântului Valentin, sărbătoare a iubirii. Probabil că 24 februarie însemna pentru omul arhaic începutul primăverii, ziua când natura se trezeşte, ursul iese din bârlog, păsările îşi caută cuiburi, iar omul trebuia să participe şi el la bucuria naturii.
Entitate mitologică asemănătoare lui Eros sau Cupidon, Dragobetele se diferenţiază de blajinitatea Sfântului Valentin din tradiţia catolică, fiind un bărbat chipeş, un neastâmpărat şi un năvalnic. Preluat de la vechii daci, unde Dragobetele era un peţitor şi un naş al animalelor, românii au transfigurat Dragobetele în protectorul iubirii celor care se întâlnesc în ziua de Dragobete, iubire care ţine tot anul, aşa cum şi păsările "se logodesc" în această zi.
În această zi satele româneşti răsunau de veselia tinerilor şi de zicala : Dragobetele sărută fetele. Sunt multe credinţele populare cu referire la Dragobete. Astfel se spunea că cine participa la această sărbătoare avea să fie ferit de bolile anului, şi mai ales de febră, şi că Dragobetele îi ajută pe gospodari să aibă un an îmbelşugat. Îmbrăcaţi de sărbătoare, fetele şi flăcăii se întâlneau în faţa bisericii şi plecau să caute prin păduri şi lunci, flori de primăvară. În sudul României (Mehedinţi), fetele se întorceau în sat alergând, obicei numit zburătorit, urmărite de câte un băiat căruia îi căzuse dragă. Dacă băiatul era iute de picior şi o ajungea, iar fata îl plăcea, îl săruta în văzul tuturor. Sărutul acesta semnifica logodna celor doi pentru un an, sau chiar pentru mai mult, Dragobetele fiind un prilej pentru comunitate pentru a afla ce nunţi se mai pregătesc pentru toamnă.
Nici oamenii mai în vârstă nu stăteau degeaba, ziua Dragobetelui fiind ziua în care trebuiau să aibă grijă de toate orătăniile din ogradă, dar şi de păsările cerului. În această zi nu se sacrificau animale pentru că astfel s-ar fi stricat rostul împerecherilor. Femeile obişnuiau să atingă un bărbat din alt sat, pentru a fi drăgăstoase tot anul. Fetele mari strângeau de cu seara ultimile rămăşiţe de zăpadă, numită zăpada zânelor, iar apa topită din omăt era folosită pe parcursul anului pentru înfrumuseţare şi pentru diferite descântece de dragoste.
O altă tradiţie spune că Dragobetele a fost transformat într-o buruiană, numită Năvalnic, de Maica Precistă, după ce nesăbuitul a îndrăznit să îi încurce şi ei cărările.

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Commentaire de Smaranda Avram le 14 février 2008 à 23:17
Tu es formidable,Vincent! Tu n'as pas manqué à ta parole et te voilà bien documenté sur cette fete et sur les particularités des croyances populaires roumaines. Je ne sais pas si tu as jamais eu l'occasion de te documenter sur le folklore roumain jusqu'à maintenant , mais tu as de cette façon l'occasion de connaitre notre riche mythologie populaire , une synthèse des croyances et pratiques paienne et chrétiennes qui remontent loin dans le passé.
Pour la connaitre et comprendre, il faut absolument étudier l'histoire de ce peuple qui, malgré les influences slaves, réussi à conservé sa latinité à travers les siècles.

Merci de toute façon d'avoir complété la présentation de cette fete.
Commentaire de Vincent Mespoulet le 14 février 2008 à 21:07
La fête de la Saint Valentin en tant que célébration du Jour des Amoureux a été adoptée avec enthousiasme par les jeunes roumains.

Ce fait est dû aux nombreuses publicités dont jouit la fête de la Saint-Valentin en Occident, ainsi qu’aux mécanismes bien réglés de l’économie de marché, qui transforment cette journée en une des plus grandes ventes de produits de toutes catégories (cadeaux chics ou folles surprises), tout comme aux grandes affiches et campagnes de publicités.

Son succès s’est propagé à la vitesse de l’éclair, elle est devenue une tradition jeune et vigoureuse, et à présent, toutes les catégories d’âge, avec une préférence dans les zones urbaines de Roumanie, célèbrent cette fête moderne et gaie.

Cependant, les traditions rurales en Roumanie contiennent une autre fête de l’amour et de la joie, appelée « Dragobetele » dont l’origine se perd dans la nuit des temps.




La célébration de cette fête « Dragobetele » varie d’une zone folklorique à une autre, elle a lieu entre le 24 et le 28 février (c’est-à-dire entre le 1er et le 5 mars selon le calendrier « ancien »), Dragobetele fils de la vieille Dochia, et beau-frère du héros végétal Lăzărică est bien souvent appelé aussi «Cap de primăvară » (*début du printemps), «Cap de vară» (*début d’été). C’est un jeune dieu du panthéon autochtone, et chaque village a une date fixe pour le célébrer, date qui varie d’une région à l’autre.

Pour les roumains, Dragobetele s’identifie à Cupidon, le dieu de l’amour dans la mythologie romaine, et à Eros, le dieu de l’amour dans la mythologie grecque (dans les provinces de Munténie, d’Olténie, de Transylvanie et Dobrogea) . Mais quel que soit le dieu célébré, la fête porte le même nom : Dragobete.




A l’occasion de Dragobete, les oiseaux migrateurs se regroupent en nuées, gazouillent, s’accouplent, et commencent à construire les nids. On dit que les oiseaux qui ne se sont pas accouplés durant Dragobete restent sans progéniture jusqu’à la fête du même nom l’année qui suit.
De même que pour les oiseaux, les filles et les garçons de la campagne doivent se rencontrer pendant Dragobete pour être aimés tout au long de l’année. Si le temps est favorable, les garçons et les filles se rassemblent en groupes et partent dans les forêts, en se hélant les uns les autres et en poussant des cris de joie, heureux de cueillir les premières fleurs du printemps.




Dans de nombreuses régions de Roumanie (Transylvanie, Olténie, Dobrogea et Munténie), s’est perpétuée jusqu’à nos jours la vieille coutume disant que les femmes non mariées et les jeunes filles faisaient une réserve d’eau avec de la neige qui n’était pas encore fondue à Dragobete. Cette eau, considérée comme miraculeuse pour l’amour, leur servait à se laver pendant certains jours précis de l’année, pour conserver leur beauté.

En Olténie, Dobrogea et Muntanie, Dragobetele «Cap de primăvară » est célébré le 1er mars, car on le considère comme étant le précurseur du printemps, patron de l’amour et de la joie chez les Roumains.
En Transylvanie, le même Dragobete se nomme «Cap de vară » car il garde sa qualité de divinité populaire, précurseur de l’été, patron de l’amour et de l’esprit ludique et dionysiaque.




A l’heure actuelle, le peuple roumain, plein de vitalité (dont la psychologie englobe un esprit amoureux, aimable et empli de finesse, en même temps qu’il apprécie les anciens rituels de réjouissances et de fêtes en accord avec les rythmes de la nature et de la vie chrétienne) célèbre autant la Saint-Valentin que Dragobete, plus ancien, avec le même bonheur et la même envie de vivre. Il célèbre probablement l’amour avec d’autant plus de soin, qu’il se sent invulnérable face aux menaces et aux dangers.

A la Saint-Valentin, quelques jeunes gens se fiancent juste pour un jour. Ils parcourent dans l’émotion et l’exaltation les jours de féerie qui suivent, quand le printemps s’annonce à l’horizon. Si aucune autre amour orageuse ne survient… ils se marieront précisément à Dragobete.



Les oiseaux commencent à construire les nids, leur chanson inonde la nature. Les jeunes gens crient: « Dragobetele sărută fetele » (*Dragobetele embrasse les filles)...La danse de la vie recommence...


Angela Furtună
(Traduction: Nicole Pottier)
Commentaire de Vincent Mespoulet le 14 février 2008 à 21:05
Romanians have their own Valentine's Day - the celebration of universal love. It is known that Valentine was a Bishop of ancient Rome and he was killed in 270 A.D. by cutting his head. This martyr entered in Western culture as the saint protector of love. Even in Romania young people celebrate St. Valentine's Day on 14th of February in the last years. . . but they forget that on 24th of February we have our special celebration of love called Dragobete.

Visiting Romanian villages on 24th of February you will be amazed talking with old people how they imagine this pagan God : Dragobete is a beautiful young man similar to the ancient Greek God named Eros, very strong but kind, extremely sensual but honest, protecting sincere love between animals and human beings, brave and ready to defend a broken heart.
Dacian WarriorHis name is explained in different ways but let's take in consideration only one source of inspiration. The Dacians, who lived thousands of years ago on this territory, had a special symbol for fertility, vital force and love: the he-goat named by them "Trago". The other part of Dragobete came from a forgotten Dacian word "Pede" which means "legs". Due to the language evolution over centuries these two words became later Drago-Bete and formed a single name with a different meaning. It might be strange for you why these "legs" are connected to love. . . but don't forget that ancient civilizations (as Dacians) performed magic rituals on certain occasions. It is possible that in the last days of winter the entire Dacian community brought together in their small sanctuary for singing and dancing. They were asking their Gods to encourage love between animals which would increase their flocks or the number of their domestic birds. Also they could use "goat legs" in their rituals as a powerful ingredient for making people more loving persons; in this way would grow the number of boys in their community which would determine a greater number of soldiers for defending their land against intruders. All these are speculations. . . but it is still a possibility to be true. One last detail: the ancient Romans and Greeks had their celebrations of love and they imagined their Gods having goat-legs and goat-horns.
Satumare ShirtOn this special day, 24th February, Romanian single young men and single girls form brotherhoods sometimes for life (boys with boys and girls with girls). This day is celebrated different in the Romanian provinces. For example in Transylvanian mountains, young men use to form Cete (in English can be translated as "bands") with special flags and distinctive marks. These bands are created at the beginning of winter and they respected by the whole community. It is a special competition between them. In many villages these bands break up at the end of February on Dragobete Day.
Spring FlowersTourists visiting Romanian on this special occasion will notice that people don't work as usual. With one exception : people make a general clean in the house because they believe that Dragobete will help to increase their richness starting with this coming spring. It is nice to see single men and single women wearing their best clothes and going in a hurry to the forest for collecting flowers. Many hours later, at their return home, they are making jokes together, they sing, dance and even kiss each other in public. In this way they show to their village that they are engaged for one year with his/her favorite person.
Commentaire de Vincent Mespoulet le 14 février 2008 à 20:59
In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, which is celebrated on February 24. It is named after a character from Romanian folklore who was supposed to be the son of Baba Dochia is, by opposition to the latter, a positive character. He is the patron of pure love and good will and he is identified with Cupid, the Roman god of love and with his Greek counterpart, Eros.

Dragobete was a holiday for teenagers. If the weather allowed it, girls and boys used to take short trips to the woods to pick up snowdrops and other early spring plants. If it was windy or cold, the girls gathered at someone’s house and they invited boys there. They spent the day telling jokes and courting each other, "doing the Dragobete"(from the Slavic word that meant "beloved"), as they used to call it. Part of his name is the word drag ("dear"), which can also be found in the word dragoste ("love").

Beetwen Valentine’s Day and Dragobete

In recent years, Romania has also started celebrating Valentine's Day, despite already having Dragobete as a traditional holiday. This has drawn backlash from many groups, particularly nationalist organizations like Noua Dreaptǎ, who condemn Valentine's Day for being superficial, commercialist and imported Western kitsch. So, Dragobete is another pagan holiday with the same purpose with Valentine's Day.

Valentine’s Day (in its Western culture acceptation) has not been celebrated in Romania until very recently. It has become a popular holiday for about six, seven years as a result of the influences of the American popular culture. It is celebrated by people in their late teens or twenties, belonging to urban milieus, and it is usually perceived as an occasion to party, to give and receive presents and to enjoy the favors of the person one likes. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is seen as a privilege of the moneyed people who can play the "westerners" in a genuine way.

The Myth

In Romanian mythology, Baba Dochia, or The Old Dokia, is a name originating from the Byzantine calendar which celebrates the Martyr Evdokia on 1 March. The Romanian Dokia personifies mankind's impatience in waiting for the return of spring.

Baba Dochia has a son, called Dragomir or Dragobete, who is married. Dochia ill-treats her daughter-in-law by sending her to pick up berries in the forest at the end of February. God appears to the girl as an old man and helps her in her task. When Dochia sees the berries, she thinks that spring has come back and leaves for the mountains with her son and her goats. She is dressed with twelve lambskins, but it rains on the mountain and the skins get soaked and heavy. Dochia has to get rid of the skins and when frost comes she perishes from the cold with her goats. Her son freezes to death with a piece of ice in his mouth as he was playing the flute.

Dochia is sometimes depicted as a proud woman who teases the month of March, who in return gets its revenge by taking some days from February.

In other sources, Dochia was the daughter of Decebalus, King of the Dacians. When the Roman Emperor Trajan was conquering part of the Dacian territory, Dochia seeks refuge in the Carpathian Mountains in order to avoid marrying him. She disguises herself as a shepherd but she takes off her lambskin garments and freezes to death with her herd. She is transformed into a stream and her animals into flowers.

Festivities

Dragobete is known as "the day when the birds are getting engaged". This day is supposed to protect one from fever which produces shivers and illness. If the weather allows it, girls and boys are supposed to pick snowdrops or other early spring plants for someone they are courting. Dragobete is also known as being the day of lovers for Romanians.

Dragobete also meant a day of brotherhood and sisterhood; many young people in rural communities chose this day to become sworn brothers or sisters. Around this day, the birds begin to arrange their nests and mate. During the day, considered locally the first day of spring, the boys and girls pick up spring flowers and sing together. The unmelted snow still present in many villages used to be collected and the water obtained used as a magic potion by young girls during the year.

If a girl did not meet with any boy or man that day, she felt miserable as she was convinced that she would not find a boyfriend or lover along the year. This is why young people preferred to arrange small parties and to create a warm, loving atmosphere during the day.

Teenage girls in rural communities had "love contests" that day. Those who were courted by many boys were suspected to have cast a spell onto them, in order to deprive their mates of the joy of finding a lover.

Days that are set aside for Baba Dochia are March 1 (for snow), March 2 (for summer), and March 3 (for harvest).

The tradition is well kept especially in the villages of Oltenia. However, a good place to witness it is the Village Museum of Bucharest, where bands of villagers from various regions celebrate Dragobete by playing instruments, dancing and singing.
Commentaire de Vincent Mespoulet le 14 février 2008 à 20:38
C'est très intéressant Smaranda, et l'histoire de cette fête me fascine vraiment. Je vais me documenter à son sujet. merci de partager cela avec nous !
Commentaire de Darius le 14 février 2008 à 20:34
Ce traditii sunt de Dragobete?

Inainte de vreme pretutindeni prin sate se auzea zicala: "Dragobetele saruta fetele!".
Credinta populara rom?neasca spune ca cei care participa la Dragobete vor fi feriti de boli tot anul. Asadar: dimineata, imbracati in cele mai bune haine, tinerii se intalneau in centrul satului sau in fata bisericii. Daca timpul era favorabil, porneau cantand in grupuri catre padure sau prin lunci in cautarea ghioceilor si a altor plante miraculoase(folosite pentru descantece de dragoste), daca vremea era urata se adunau la unii dintre ei acasa si se tineau de jocuri si de povesti.
De Dragobete se faceau logodne simbolice pentru anul urmator (uneori le urmau logodnele adevarate) sau fetele si baietii faceau fratii de sange.
In padure, in jurul focurilor aprinse, tinerii baieti si fete stateau de vorba. Fetele strangeau viorele si tamaioasa, pe care le pastrau la icoane, fiind folosite apoi ?n diverse farmece de dragoste. Prin unele locuri, exista obiceiul ca fetele mari sa stranga apa din omatul netopit sau de pe florile de fragi. Aceasta apa era pastrata cu mare grija pentru ca avea proprietati magice (se spunea ca e "nascuta din surasul zanelor") si putea face fetele mai frumoase si mai dragastoase. Daca nu erau omat si fragi fetele adunau apa de ploaie (pentru spalatul parului) sau de izvor atunci cand Dragobetele se tinea in luna martie.
La pranz, fetele incepeau sa coboare spre sat in fuga, in sudul Romaniei aceasta goana fiind numita "zburatorit". Fiecare baiat urmarea fata care ii placea. Daca flacaul era iute de picior si fetei ii placea respectivul urmaritor, atunci avea loc o sarutare mai indelungata in vazul tuturor. Sarutul era logodna ludica a celor doi, cel putin pentru un an de zile, de multe ori astfel de logodne veneau inaintea logodnelor adevarate.
Comunitatea este foarte interesata de ce se intampla, deoarece inca de pe acum se poate afla la ce nunti vor merge toamna. Dupa-amiaza are loc petrecerea, unde toata lumea, fie ca este membru al unui cuplu, fie ca nu, danseaza, canta, se simte bine fiindca se spunea ca tinerii care nu au petrecut de Dragobete sau cei care n-au vazut macar o persoana de sex opus nu-si vor mai gasi pereche tot restul anului.
Femeile obisnuiau sa atinga un barbat din alt sat in ziua de Dragobete ca sa fie dragastoase tot anul si mai aveau grija sa dea mancare buna orataniilor din curte, pasarilor cerului, nici o vietate nefiind sacrificata la Dragobete. De multe ori, flacaii petreceau din plin de Dragobete si prin satele vecine, ca sa le mearga bine peste vara.
Pentru toti, sarbatoarea dragostei era socotita una de bun augur pentru treburile marunte, nu si pentru cele mari. Deoarece se credea ca Dragobetele ii va ajuta pe gospodari sa aiba un an mai imbelsugat decat ceilalti, in ziua de Dragobete oamenii nu munceau ca in zilele cu sarbatori religioase, doar isi faceau curatenie prin case. Cele care lucrau erau fetele indraznete care chiar isi doreau sa fie "pedepsite" de Dragobete. Chiar daca mai "pedepsea" femeile, se considera ca Dragobetele ocrotea si purta noroc indragostitilor, tinerilor in general, putand fi socotit un veritabil Cupidon romanesc.

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