We love this time of year! It’s a great opportunity to show the ones close to us how much we care. While most people know Valentine’s Day as a time for chocolate and roses, there are actually some very unique Valentine’s Day traditions in Croatia that most people may not know. Since our famous fig spreads are crafted in Croatia using figs from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, we know a thing or two about how Valentine’s Day is celebrated there, and want to share the history with you too!
Valentine’s Day is about customs related to St. Valentine
In Croatia, like in the U.S., Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th. February 14th comes after Christmas holidays and just before Lent. Back in the day, the Church requested believers to not get married during important Church holidays like Christmas or Easter and not to get married or have loud celebrations during Advent or Lent. February 14th was a perfect day that fit all of these requirements!
Animals play a big part in Croatian beliefs and traditions around Valentine’s Day
There are several customs and superstitions in Croatian folk tradition that are related to St Valentine’s day, such as:
- If a girl sees a robin on St. Valentine’s Day, she will get married to a sailor.
- If a girl sees a sparrow on St. Valentine’s Day, she will get married to a poor man
- If a girl sees a goldfinch, she will get married to a rich man.
- If a ladybug lands on your hand it will bring you good luck. From which side a ladybug flies away, from that side your loved one will come.
While we’re on the topic of marriage, here’s a fun fact: on St. Valentine’s Day even the birds get married so sometimes people even went to the woods to leave food out for their celebration!
Food plays a role in Valentine’s Day in Croatia
In northwestern parts of Croatia birds made out of dough were baked and then given as gifts. Croatians also have a tradition of making and giving away Licitars. Licitars are colorfully decorated biscuits made of sweet honey dough that are part of Croatia's cultural heritage and a traditional symbol of Zagreb. They are used as an ornamental gift, often given at celebrations of love such as weddings and St. Valentine's Day.
Valentine’s Day and weather
It's believed that if on Valentine's the day is nice and sunny, year should be like fruitful and lucky. Some traditions say that if you met your crush on St. Valentine's Day you would get married later in autumn or winter.
While Valentine’s Day in Croatia isn’t the big commercialized holiday that it is in the U.S., these charming traditions and superstitions make it a wonderful day to enjoy on February 14th! Sretno Valentinovo everyone!