Observed on February 14, Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love and affection. While most college couples can be seen holding hands and going on dates, some Indian colleges take the day a notch higher by following the rituals of the decade. From Hindu College to St Stephen’s, here are some Valentine’s Day rituals in Indian colleges you might not be aware of:
Praying to Virgin Tree: Delhi University Hindu Colleges definitely follow a strange Valentine’s Day tradition. On this day, students gather around the oldest tree on the college campus known as the “Virgin Tree,” where each year a student is asked to select a Bollywood actress or model. This selected one will be known as ‘Damdami Mata’. Students decorate the tree with balloons and perform the aarti for the selected Damadami Mata. It is believed that praying to Damdami Mata will help them find a partner in the next six months, thus ending their virginity in the coming year.
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Anga’s Oath: Members of the Allnutt North Gentlemen’s Association (ANGA), which is St Stephen’s College Boys’ Hostel, performed ‘Anga Oath’ on Valentine’s Day each year. Performing since the 1970s, the oath has been accused of promoting misogyny. In 2019, however, the students rescinded the oath, breaking a four-decade-old tradition after facing protests.
Apart from Indian colleges, several overseas colleges also follow original rituals on this day.
Nocturnal Love Songs: University students and couples gather at the base of the on-site memorial tower and wait until midnight on Valentine’s Day. They play classic love songs and couples seal their love with a midnight kiss.
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Not just lovers: Simmons College in Boston, USA celebrates not only romantic love, but also platonic love between friends, as well as the appreciation of their teachers. In addition, the college also hosts an annual party and students are expected to dress up and bring dates to the event.
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