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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Observed every year on June 12th, Dia dos Namorados (Lovers’ Day/Boyfriends, Girlfriends’ Day) honors love and relationships in Brazil and features celebrations similar to Valentine’s Day with dates/nights out, flowers, dining out, gifts, romantic gestures, decorations, and parties.

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On Dia dos Namorados gifts like chocolates and roses are given to loved ones, photo by Heverton Woss/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Dia dos Namorados falls on the day before Saint Anthony of Padua’s Day, which is celebrated on the 13th and is included as part of the Festas Juninas. In Brazil, as well as Portugal and Spain, Saint Anthony is recognized mainly as the marriage saint.

While most countries, including other Portuguese-speaking nations, observe Valentine’s Day, held in celebration of Saint Valentine and courtly love, in February, Brazil does not celebrate on February 14th due to the date’s proximity to Carnival celebrations.

In the Zona Oeste (West Zone) neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, Dia dos Namorados will be celebrated in an unusual way this year with fireworks lighting up the sky on Friday.

Promoted by the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau/Rio CVB and the Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Hotéis do Estado do Rio de Janeiro/ABIH-RJ (Brazilian Association of Hotels in the State of Rio de Janeiro) and sponsored by Carvalho Hosken, the launch will be a test-run for Réveillon (New Year’s Eve) 2015-2016 celebrations. The display will take place at 11PM and during the event Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro will offer cocktails for guests.

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The Frutos do mar ao estilo de Bangkok with a dessert and glass of sparking wine is one of three meals the Opium restaurant will offer for R$180 per couple, photo courtesy of Opium.

Additionally, many restaurants throughout the city will offer meal specials on the holiday. The Opium restaurant in Ipanema will offer three meal choices for couples priced at only R$180. Located in the Plaza Hotel, the restaurant specializes in Asian cuisine and has prepared a special “aphrodisiac” menu for the holiday. Additionally, the Gringo Café, also in Ipanema, is well known for its cakes and pies and has in the past celebrated the holiday with various promotions.

While Dia dos Namorados is a special time for couples it can be equally dreaded and avoided by singles, who might opt to stay at home, but shouldn’t.

The Sharon Van Etten concert at Imperator Centro Cultural João Nogueirain the city’s Zona Norte (North Zone) neighborhood of Méier on Thursday night is a great idea for the lovelorn.

Singing folk-infused melodies with stream-of-consciousness lyrics that depict ambiguous personal narratives, addressing everything from abusive relationships to choosing career over a true love, Van Etten helps portray lost love and missed marks as learning experiences.

Additionally, the club The Week, located in the neighborhood of Saúde, will host the Fodasse Dia Dos Namorados (F*** Lover’s Day) on Friday night while the Top of Pestana venue will host the Happy Single Life party.

Also during the weekend, many other clubs throughout the city will host Dia dos Namorados themed events. The popular CAVE club in Arpoador will host the Black Cave in Luv party with special guest Bnegão and the Miroir club in Lagoa will host the Saint-Valentin party.

To learn about more upcoming Dia dos Namorados themed events held on Friday and during the weekend in Rio de Janeiro, make sure to daily check The Rio Times Nightlife Guide.

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