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Brazilian Valentine's Day kicks off with extra police and a World Cup countdown

June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, marked Brazilian Valentine's Day and as lovers celebrated, police in Sao Paulo were on hand to keep them safe. The Associated Press reports there has been a rise in high-end restaurant robberies in the Brazilian city recently. To avoid giving customers a Pulp Fiction-style dining experience, a group of restaurant owners asked Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin to step up police patrols in their neighborhoods for the holiday.

Brazilian Valentine's Day was safer for couples who wanted to mark the 62nd annual holiday with a night on the town, as Governor Alckmin put 390 extra patrolmen on duty on Tuesday in addition to the 3,500 officers already working, BBC News reports. The city's security secretary told the news source criminals who once focused on kidnapping and ATM robbery have turned to holding up restaurants and robbing the customers dining within. The additional police forces and the extra 300 or so cop cars on the streets of Sao Paulo dissuaded thieves from interrupting romantic dates around the city.

Brazilian Valentine's Day is celebrated on the eve of St. Anthony's Day, which is traditionally thought of as a lucky day for women seeking husbands. Those who might have forgotten the big day and are working or living outside the country can make calls to Brazil with phone cards to wish their lovers a happy holiday.

According to FIFA, Tuesday also marked the two-year countdown until the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Qualifying games are already well underway to determine who will compete for the cup on the romantic day in 2014. It makes sense that the competition will be held on this day, as Brazil is known around the world for its undying love of football. The upcoming event also marks the first time the nation has hosted the competition since the fourth World Cup tournament in 1950.

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