LAHORE: Valentines Day falling on a working day has brought cheer to some people, namely the youth and florists in the city. Last year, the day of red roses fell on a Sunday which meant it was hard to sneak out of the house for many and florists were not able to push their wares. This year, many hope, will be a different story.
Florists, confectioners and gift shop owners are overjoyed that Valentines Day is on a working day and are hoping to see a real boost in their retail sales. They said it was especially difficult for girls to leave their homes to get gifts and the harder it became for them, the slower sales went. However, some young people and florists said that irrespective whether it be a Monday or a Sunday, when it comes to expressing your love nothing can stand in their way.
Twenty-six-year-old university student Daniyal planned to buy flowers for his special someone this Valentines Day. Daniyal thanked God that Valentines fell on a working day especially as it was difficult for girls to come out on holidays. Saima Noor, a student at Lahore College for Women University, said she would celebrate Valentines with her boyfriend. She was glad that this time around the day was on Monday as last year she had been unable to get out of family engagements. She was planning on going to Liberty Market to buy flowers for her boyfriend.
Rao Iqbal (55) said that upper crust families did not really care if their children met up with their significant others. Iqbal said that the problem lay with middle class and working class families who disapproved and hence the couples met secretly. For such couples, Iqbal felt, everyday was Valentines.
Faiza Sultan, a student, said, “Valentine’s Day should be celebrated as it was the only day of its kind in the year. Men and women made plans for dinners, dancing parties, watching movies and gave flowers to one another.”
Maaham Aslam, a student of Kinnaird College, said Valentine’s Day should not be celebrated. She said Islam did not allow it. It was not a Muslim tradition, the young girl added.
The florists earnt millions of rupees on Valentine’s Day by selling flowers. The owners of flower shops at Mini Market decorated their shops placing flowers made into the shapes of peacocks, hearts, birds, baskets, bouquets and other items to attract customers. Other florists were not far behind in the race either as items were being sold for between Rs1,000 to Rs5,000. Shopkeepers said they purchased 5,000 red roses in a routine day but on Valentines they purchased over 50,000 flowers.
On Valentines Day eve, luxury restaurants and local hotels are offering special menus, dance parties and musical programmes.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2011.