February 14, a day that is much awaited by all (sic). Despite being the shortest month in the year, February has a significant date to many of them. Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world by almost everyone. Individuals shower their other halves with gifts and flowers on this day as a sign of love.
Valentine’s Day was initially celebrated to pay a tribute to St Valentine who died some time in AD 270. According to history, Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest, was executed on February 14 as punishment for secretly marrying Roman soldiers. Despite the laws made by Emperor Claudius II about remaining the single status for all Roman soldiers, Valentine believed otherwise and got the soldiers married in a secret Christian ceremony.
Over the years, gifts and flowers, preferably red roses, are exchanged between loved ones as a symbol of love. As we enter a new decade, the act of showing gratitude on Valentine’s Day is not the same as how it used to be. Ipoh Echo went on a quest and discovered how Ipohites spend their time on that auspicious day.
As of this year, Valentine’s Day was on Friday. On the night of February 13, a number of stalls were set up around Ipoh Garden and Buntong selling flowers, chocolates and soft toys. With all these stalls along the road, some still preferred to purchase their bouquets of flowers from florists at UTC.
During an interview session with Satchia, a florist from UTC, he stated that he still receives a number of customers requesting red roses.
“Both old-timers and the young ones came crowding into my shop. It’s always the red roses. I’ve only received one customer requesting sunflowers!
“People still prefer giving flowers on Valentine’s Day and I don’t think that this habit will die off. But compared to last year, our customer count has definitely reduced,” said Satchia, the owner of New Foo Choon Florist.
He also shared an interesting story about one of his customers.
“As I mentioned earlier, the act of giving flowers will never die as can be seen through this one uncle who never fails to drop by my shop and pick up some flowers for his wife. This has been going on since my grandfather’s days,” he expressed.
According to Fathol Zaman Bukhari, 71, during Valentine’s he takes his wife out for dinner as a sign of gratitude.
“Although we do go out for dinner regularly, this year’s Valentine’s I try to do something different. I decided to take my wife, daughter-in-law and granddaughter out for dinner. Unfortunately, the date clashed with my granddaughter’s maths tuition,” he sighed.
Valentine’s is not entirely celebrated by the older generation but by the millennials as well.
When asked Kumaresan Moorthy, a 20-year-old from Polytechnic Ungku Omar on how he spent his Valentine’s, he said that it was with his friends and family.
“I think Valentine’s is not just about spending with your significant half but it’s a day you show gratitude to anyone who means the world to you. To me, it’s my mum. I surprised her with a gift that her heart desired,” he said.
He insisted that an ideal gift for Valentine’s is the gift of love.
“You should always express your love and not just do it on this particular day. Roses and chocolates are just a symbol but the true act comes from the heart. This day will not wear off one day if everyone understands the true meaning of love,” he explained.
To express love, it should be done every day and not just on February 14. One should understand the meaning behind Valentine’s Day before celebrating it and not be a blind follower.
From the older to the younger generation, Valentine’s Day will continue to remain a significant day in February.