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Valentine’s Day has gained momentum in recent years in Pakistan where it is celebrated with more fervor every next year. From the roadside florist to the telecom companies, from the lavish restaurant to the trendy gift shop, everyone seems to be celebrating Valentine’s Day in their own special way on 14th of February.
A day before the big day, all commercial ventures of the federal capital seemed to be fervently endorsing love by immersing in red theme. In Islamabad the major shopping area, Super Market (F-6), Jinnah Super Market (F-7) and F-10 Markaz were seen decorated with greetings cards, red ribbons, heart-shaped pillows where teenagers were found in huge group numbers. “For me Valentine’s Day is incomplete without a gift and flowers and here I am searching for a unique gift” said Ali Khan, who was busy in finding the right kind of gift at a shop in F-7.
Flowers and chocolates are regarded as the most perfect choice of teenagers when buying Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. The gifts shops and stores at Jinnah super have in fact changed the whole theme of the store to that of red hearts to attract customers.
Valentine ’s Day is also the largest commercial day of the year when the “advertising agency compels the people to show their affection by purchasing things that they really don’t need or want, like the huge teddy bears” said Salma Khalid, a student.It is believed that the biggest portion of the earnings of the shops come from the greeting cards, followed by flowers, chocolates, toys, and also from some of the expensive material like jewelry (rings, bracelets, necklaces), readymade garments, and cell phones.
To celebrate the festival of love, Kuch Khaas Café, a favourite among the posh of the capital, is offering delicious desserts. “Because when they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach they don’t lie!” – reads the punch line of the café for the special invite.
While the whole town seems to be celebrating love by exchanging gifts, few people are of the view that love is a priceless feeling which should be celebrated every day and should not be confined to one day. Maria Effendi, a researcher believes that “Valentine’s day is for those shallow minds who restrict celebration/expression of being in love to just one day. Love is a precious feeling, has to be celebrated every day, every minute.”
According to an estimate 110 million roses (mostly red) are sold for Valentine’s and about 73 percent of them are bought by men. While an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent each year and about 85 percent of them are bought by women.