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Valentine’s Day to Gala-times!


I remember the buzz around the ‘festival’ Valentine’s Day. A swarm of red roses, teddy bear gifts, chocolates and a whole lot of mushy stuff as a built-up to the ‘grand fiesta.’

 Tracing the history of Valentine’s Day, it is believed that Valentine’s Day has its origin in ancient Rome, celebrated in honour of the third century Roman saint, Saint Valentine. But digging into the historical fables, love and romance were added to this day much later. The trivia attached to it indicates the feast of Lupercalia was celebrated from 13 February to 15 February. A goat and a dog were sacrificed by men these days, and women were whipped with the hides of the sacrificed animals as it was believed that this would make them fertile. And we celebrate that day as a symbol of love! The irony is it not?

With the surge in commercialisation and the consumerism market, the day became one of the most profitable days of the year for companies dealing in the cards, flowers, gifting, F& B, in short businesses that marketed the emotion called love successfully.  Bigger the V-card or a teddy bear added to a bouquet of roses, more extraordinary the exposition of love.

 As we know and understand, the day was hyped in India, protruding out of the seams by the two popular companies that sold cards and gifts. No prizes to guess the companies referred here. After a lull of the last two years, I observed a slight shift in the sentiment of celebration of love and expression. So from Valentine’s, it is also Galantine’s Day, a blend of gal and Valentine’s Day when women let their hair down to have some fun with their girl tribe.


Interestingly, one more twist to the celebratory occasion – anyone can have a gala time, irrespective of age, gender and relation. It’s an evolved way of looking at the ‘designed celebration date.’ There was quite a buzz amongst different age groups not just among the youngsters. It seemed less of a mushy affair that I observed yesterday and have been noticing for a few years now. Certainly, the madness attached to this day has slowed down.

Close quarters

Doing some pub and café hopping to understand the shift in Valentine’s Day, my observations were a pleasant surprise, and I felt not choked with the PDA tackiness. Devoid of the overpowering cliché that at one time would suffocate your vision and thoughts as well, there was some respite from seeing overdressed couples blooming in reds, snuggled in the V-Day spirit. I saw varied age groups partying and enjoying, nothing thematic. The girl tribes were in their full glory, enjoying their girl gang company.

The flower business certainly would have done well also but may not have done exponentially well this year. Indeed, the sale of teddy bears was not much. Talking to the owner of a gift shop in Gurgaon, he said, “Our business has gone to half of what it used to be on this day about four years back. Teddy bears have become an obsolete give-away for couples. Are times changing?  

Maybe our society is getting mature, but as I hear, a Delhi restaurant had a cover charge of 20 k packed for the special day. That’s an expensive date, especially when individuals and businesses are recovering from the effect of the pandemic. All a personal impression and scrutiny of the day.

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