Monday, June 12, 2006

Dia dos Namorados, Red Rose Day, June 12th

Dia dos Namorados

If you missed Valentine's Day this year, you still will have an opportunity to celebrate a day of love and oogyness in 2006. Dia dos Namorados "Day of the Enamored," or "Day of the Boyfriend" is celebrated in Brazil and was picked as a holiday probably because of it's closeness to Saint Anthony's Day, June 13th.

St. Anthony is a Portuguese saint known as the marriage saint. If you are looking to hook-up and wish to enlist the help of St. Anthony, on June 13th you need to bury a statue of St. Anthony upside-down holding him captive in that position until he finds you a significant other.

Red Rose Day

Fossil evidence has shown that roses have been around for 35 million years and when something so beautiful has been around for so long, there are sure to be stories surrounding it. Red roses aren't my favorite, I don't think they smell as pretty as other roses, but I still like them and there are some fun legends surrounding the red rose.

According to Greek mythology, all roses were white until Eros was stung by a bee which caused him to accidentally shot an arrow into a rose bush. The sting of the arrow caused the roses to grow thorns. Then Aphrodite walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, and the droplets of her blood turned the roses red. Other versions of the legend claim that the rose bush grew from the tears of Aphrodite, and turned red from the blood of her lover, Adonis.

To the Romans, having adopted the Greek mythology, the rose also was the symbol of love and beauty. In their continued stories, Cupid, (Eros) offered a rose when trying to bribe the Muta, the god of silence to keep Venus's (Aphrodite) amourous escapades secret. Because of this, the rose became a symbol for secrecy. "Sub rosa" literally translates to "under the rose," and today means confidential.

In an Arabic legend, all roses were white until the nightingale met a the rose and fell in love. Nightingales were not yet known for their beautiful song; they simply chirped like any other bird. The nightingale's love was so intense that he was inspired to sing for the first time. Eventually his love was such that he pressed his chest to the bush and the thorns pierced his heart, coloring the rose red.

During the War of the Roses in the Fifteenth century, the rose was used as a symbol for the separate factions fighting to control England. The white rose symbolized the house of York, and the red rose symbolized the house of Lancaster.

And there we have a brief history of the red rose. And somehow, they don't seem as romantic anymore. Sorry.

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