Nigerians have joined the world to mark the St. Valentine’s Day popularly known as the lover’s day
| By Chinwe Okafor | Feb. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
On Friday, February 14, the world will commemorate St. Valentine’s Day, popularly called the lover’s day. Just like people in other parts of the world, Nigerians are also anxiously waiting for the day of love. Some people have mapped out programmes to mark the day which include visits to the less privileged homes, orphanages and elderly homes. Many people also plan to celebrate the day with their loved ones while others are indifferent about the valentine’s Day
Anulika Amoah, a civil servant, said that Valentine’s Day means a lot to her because it is a great opportunity to express her feelings to her numerous loved ones. Amoah said that she has been a regular visitor to the less privileged homes on every Valentine’s Day. According to her, she donates gift items for the up-keep of those in need and the less privileged ones. “To the best of my opinion, helping the less privileged ones is the best way to express love on Valentine’s Day so as to enable them have a feel that there are people who care about them,” she said.
For Ngozi Okonkwo, who recently got married to her heart throb less than a week ago, the 2014 Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity for her to appreciate her husband with a wonderful gift. Okonkwo said that she would have the best of time with her husband because this is the first Valentine’s Day both of them would be having together after their marriage. “My plan is to get back from work on time and spend enough time with him,” she said. To Chike, his husband, February 14, is the day for the expression of love. He believes that the expression of love should be an everyday affair and not limited to Valentine’s Day alone.
Kemi Amos, a student of University of Ilorin, has been looking forward to Valentine’s Day with her loved ones. She said that she visits the Lagos bar beach with loved ones. “In the last four years, I have always spent most of my time at the bar beach which has been great fun,” she said.
Apart from individuals preparing to mark valentine, companies and the hospitality industries have been advertising and enticing people to come patronise their special valentine products. Even the media houses are not left out. Ray power FM, a popular media house in Lagos, has been advertising and inviting youths and families to come for the 2014 Valentine’s party at the Eko Hotels and Suites for a special entertainment programme.
Telecommunication companies are also not left out in the valentine frenzy. MTN and Etisalat companies are sending out text messages luring their customers to engage in love caller tunez for their loved ones. Also, gift shops are making brisk sales with their valentine hampers and other accessories. Chiamaka Ozor, a cloth dealer, has stuffed up her boutique with the red and white coloured dresses for both adults and children. She said that the red and white colour is a colour that depicts true love and as such, lovers and parents would come to patronise her in this season of love.
However, it is not everybody who is preparing to celebrate the Valentine’s Day due to religious reasons. Amarachi Chukwu, mother of two, said that she would not celebrate the day because it is was against her religious faith. According to her, Nigerians are misusing that day for many immoral activities and she has decided not to be part of the celebration.
Saint Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine is observed on February 14, every year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although most countries do not declare it a work free day. St. Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of Christian saints named Valentinus. Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and ministering to Christians. During his imprisonment, St. Valentine healed the daughter of Asterius, his jailer. Before his execution, St. Valentine wrote a letter titled “from your Valentine” as a farewell to the lady he healed.
Saint Valentine’s Day has been made an official feast day in the Anglican Communion as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day on July 6, and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter, Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna.