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Zimbabweans Celebrate St. Valentine's Day

  • VOA Staff

Some Zimbabweans celebrated St. Valentine's Day despite serious social, economic and political problems bedevling the country. (Photo: Gibbs Dube)

Some Zimbabweans celebrated St. Valentine's Day despite serious social, economic and political problems bedevling the country. (Photo: Gibbs Dube)

Zimbabweans joined the rest of the world Saturday in marking St. Valentine’s Day.

The day is known around the world as the day of love. But Valentine's Day is not just limited to romance. Many around the world are expressing their love and affection to families and friends as well.

Studio 7 spoke to some local people, including Gogo Alice.

In the United States, the National Retail Federation said local people spent at least $17 billion in 2014 on candy, cards, flowers and other mementos marking the occasion.

But not everyone is celebrating. In Pakistan, Malaysia and other mainly-Muslim countries, many consider Valentine's Day to be un-Islamic and discourage the celebration of it. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, Valentine's Day is banned. Hindu extremists in India have also opposed the day.

So how did Valentine's Day start? The observance takes its name from Saint Valentine, but a precise origin is difficult to pinpoint, as more than one saint had that name. A common conclusion is that the Saint Valentine who inspired Valentine's Day was a third-century Roman priest executed for secretly marrying young couples in defiance of a marriage ban. February 14 was the date of his execution.

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