ZIMBABWEANS yesterday joined the world in commemorating Valentine's Day with florists and gift shops recording brisk business. However, the commemorations were received with mixed reactions with some people arguing that the day had been commercialised.
Bouquets of flowers at Africa Unity Square sold between US$10 and US$35.
Lovers had to fork out an extra US$10 for delivery.
Valentine's Day cards sold at a dollar or US$2 each with a parcel bag.
As others were in a rush to shop for gifts, others were not bothered about Valentine's Day but instead queried the day's existence.
"Who is Saint Valentine? My understanding is that he was a promiscuous someone so why should I celebrate him?
"I do not believe in Valentine's Day and therefore I did not buy my wife anything. I can spoil her any other day but just not on this one," fumed a vendor along First Street.
His view seemed to be popular with a surprisingly high number of people, mostly men. Zack Mushora, an accountant begged to differ.
"I had to buy Ferrero Rocher chocolates, a teddy and roses. I do not believe in Valentine's Day because it is just a gimmick by shop owners to raise sales in their shops. I also know that her friends will be showing off so if I had not bought her a present she would be angry" he said.
Liberty Muzorewa from Mufakose said he was not interested in commemorating the day on religious grounds.
"Valentine's is a pagan festival that started in Rome. It was popular and called the feast of Lupercalia where women would run naked in the streets. Valentine's had no biblical links or Christian background despite being a commemoration of Saint Valentine's death," he said.
He however, said he was not compelled to celebrate it and because of that, he made sure he was not wearing red, black or white, the colours believed to be associated with Valentine's Day.
Nonetheless, many people wore the Valentine's Day colours.
Roses were flying from florists to offices from morning until midday.
"We are celebrating love and not some illuminati belief that people are associating with this day. I am not doing any ritual but simply spoiling the one I love," said a couple that was in Harare Gardens.
A florist from Africa Unity square confirmed that people have been dropping by and ordering flowers for their loved ones.
"This year our flowers were bit expensive since there are fewer growers but people were coming for them anyway. People were mostly impressed by our modern style of flower arrangement. We are not only putting roses, but also lilies and other types," he said.