Different from other countries where ‘Valentine’s Day’ is celebrated on February 14, ‘Dia dos Namorados’ (equivalent of Valentine’s Day) is celebrated on June 12 in Brazil. Couples generally exchange gifts and have a romantic dinner.
Why June 12? It is been said the date was stated by tradesmen, who wanted to increase their sales, and because it is related to Saint Anthony’s Day (June 13), known as a marriage saint in Catholic Church.
Today Google chose two famous child characters to illustrate its ‘doodle’: Mônica (Monica) and Cebolinha (Jimmy Five – because he has only five strands of hair).
Mônica was created by Mauricio de Sousa in the 60’s and was inspired by one of his daughters, and in 1970 she got her own comic book.
Monica's Gang first edition, 1970
Nowadays ‘Monica’s Gang’ comics still can be found in newsstands and bookshops and there is also a teen version of the gang – Monica’s Gang Teen - since 2008, which is designed in manga style.
Monica’s Gang was part of my childhood and most of children from the 70’s and 80’s probably read their stories too. These stories had to do with our own lives - Brazilian culture was (and still must be) present in every comic -, so it was really great to read them.