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By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For most people in the world, Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated on February 14th. In Brazil, however, it is June 12th when couples get together to have a romantic celebration of their love on what is called “Dia dos Namorados” in Portuguese.

Rio de Janeiro, Rio News, Brazil News, Valentine's Day, Dia dos Namorados
Aprazível, the most charming restaurant in Santa Teresa, offers a special menu for the Valentine’s Day, photo courtesy of Restaurante Aprazível.

The actual reason why Brazil is an exception is essentially commercial. In 1948, Dia dos Namorados was determined in June as a strategy to increase this month’s sales – which were usually very weak.

Since then, Brazilians celebrate Valentine’s Day on June 12th, which, coincidentally, is the day before St. Anthony’s Day, known as the marriage saint in the Catholic tradition.

The way Cariocas celebrate Dia dos Namorados varies according to the taste: romantic old-fashioned couples usually go out on June 12th for a candlelight dinner or for a weekend getaway in the hills; irreverent couples, on the other hand, prefer a more alternative program, like watching the sunset in a nice spot or spending the day in a far-away beach or waterfall.

Even though it is a day dedicated for the lovers, many single Cariocas also enjoy celebrating Valentine’s in an ironic, fun atmosphere. On June 12th, plenty are the parties accross Rio dedicated to the singles, both for those looking for some fun and those looking for a soulmate.

Whether someone are single or not, Rio’s diverse Valentine’s programs will have something to offer. Following are some of the best options happening in town for Dia dos Namorados:

Paixão Vegan at House of Food (Botafogo)
An interesting program for all civil status, Paixão Vegan celebrates the Valentine’s Day with one of the most beloved dishes of Carioca people: the coxinha. From 12PM to 12AM, the event will offer vegan versions of this traditionally chicken-based dish. Paixão Vegan will take place at Void Botafogo, one of the current trendiest spots for young Cariocas.

What: Paixão Vegan at House of Food
When: Monday, June 12th – from 12PM to 12AM
Where: Void Botafogo, Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 31 – Botafogo – Tel: (21) 3593-3326
Entrance: FREE

Day trip to Paquetá (Paquetá)
For those couples looking for the most romantic program of all, Paquetá is the perfect place to go. Only fifty minutes far from Rio by barge, Paquetá is a calm and little piece of land situated in the Guanabara Bay. Time does not seem to pass in this bike-only adorable island, where birds and the sea are the only sounds you will care about.

What: Day Trip to Paquetá
When: Monday, June 12th – barges from 5:30 AM to 11:10 PM, every fifty minutes.
Where: Paquetá Island (barges depart from Praça XV barge station)
Entrance: R$5,90 per track

Dias dos Namorados with Taryn Szpilman Duo (Gávea)
Gathering culinary and live music, Inverso Gávea hosts tonight a Valentine’s event that pleases both single people and couples. Besides its sophisticated delicious finger food, amazing view and cozy atmosphere, the venue will also offer live blues, inviting Taryn Szpilman Duo to perfom at its stage.

What: Dia dos Namorados with Taryn Szpilman Duo
When: Monday, June 12th, from 12PM to 1AM
Where: Inverso Gávea – Praça Santos Dumont, 31 – Gávea – Tel: (21) 3687-9448
Entrance: R$20

Dinner at Aprazível (Santa Teresa)
If you are looking for a dinner in style, Aprazível is the right place to go. Situated in Santa Teresa hills, the restaurant gathers the best Rio can offer: a spectacular view of the city, an interior design that mixes nature with rustic furniture and a menu with the most delicious dishes from all parts of Brazil. Tonight, the chefs prepared a new menu, exclusive for Valentine’s Day. You certainly will not regret this experience.

What: Dinner at Aprazível Restaurant
When: Monday, June 12th – from 12PM to 11PM
Where: Rua Aprazível, 62 – Santa Teresa – Tel: (21) 2508-9174
Entrance: FREE (see venue to check the prices of the menu)

Spending a night at Pestana Atlântica Hotel(Copacabana)
Pestana Atlântica Hotel, in Copacabana, is offering a great promotion for the Valentine’s Day. For R$750 (plus taxes), the couple can have a fancy stay at one of Pestana’s rooms, including breakfast, a champagne bottle, sweets and a drink per person at the hotel’s Deck Lounge Bar.

What: Dia dos Namorados at Pestana Atlântica
When: Monday, June 12th (check in at 3PM) to June 13th (check out at 3PM)
Where: Avenida Atlântica, 2964 – Copacabana – Tel: (21) 4130-2822
Entrance: R$750 (plus taxes)

Special Dia dos Namorados with Daíra and João Mantuano (Lapa)
There is no event to celebrate Valentine’s like live free show with two musicians that are a couple. Tonight, Daíra and João Mantuano will present a show dedicated to love songs. Couples will have the opportunity to participate on a raffle, for which the prize is a weekend trip to Sana, in Rio’s hills.

What: Daíra and João Mantuano
When: Monday, June 12th – 8PM
Where: Rua do Resende, 76 – Lapa
Entrance: FREE

Glow Party (Copacabana)
Singles will absolutely love Valentine’s Day with the Glow Party. Get ready for an experience with black lights, glow sticks, DJs and samba at New Mariuzinn Copacabana. Caipirinhas will be free until 12AM and there will be live samba music and dancers. DJs will spin the best of house, cumbia, trap, reggaeton, funk, pop, and hip hop throughout the night.

What: New Mariuzinn Copacabana
When: Monday, June 12th – 11PM
Where: Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, 1077 – Copacabana – Tel: (21) 2521-1952
Entrance: R$40 – R$60

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