WASHINGTON DC — Some Zimbabwean florists say they made brisk business Thursday on St. Valentine’s Day compared to last year with lovers snapping flowers, teddy bears and several other gifts.
Florists including Bluebells in Bulawayo and Harare’s Floral Wonderland say they sold large quantities of red roses as love was in the air for some city residents who paid at least between $20 and $30 for a bunch of these romantic flowers.
A Bluebells spokesperson said some of them spent as much as $300 for baskets with assorted goodies like chocolates, fruits and candy.
She said some clients opted for expensive office and home deliveries.
But there was no joy in Gweru, Midlands Province, where business appeared to be low due to lack of disposable income for some lovers.
William Zengere of L.A Petite Florist tells VOA Studio 7 that the downturn in sales compared to last year was also caused by some vendors who sell similar goods outside registered floral shops.
In Bulawayo, the National Railways of Zimbabwe announced that it will on Sunday be running a steam locomotive dubbed Valentine Sashay Steam Safari from the city center to Khami Ruins, about 60 kilometres outside the country’s second largest city.
Couples travelling in the vintage steam locomotives will be treated to a candle-lit dinner and drinks at a cost of $75. Single enthusiasts will be charged $40.
St. Valentines Day is marked worldwide on February 14 though the story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery.
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.