Ghanaians join people around the world to celebrate Valentine's Day today.
Also known as Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, the day is celebrated annually on February 14 although it is not observed as a public holiday in any country.
It originated as a Western Christian feast day honouring one or two early saints named Valentinus.
The day is recognised as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.
The celebration is mostly characterised by the wearing of red clothes by celebrants.
In Ghana, the day is also designated as the National Chocolate Day, purposely for the eating of chocolate made in Ghana as part of efforts to promote made in Ghana goods.
The day is packed with several activities championed by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
On the economic aspect, traders at the various markets in Accra display red clothes, souvenirs and teddy bears for sale while others sell different varieties of made in Ghana chocolate.
A trader at the Odawna market told Ghanaian Times that sales for clothes and souvenirs for Valentine's Day has been unusually low.
Madam Ofosua Atta attributed the decline in sales to Ghanaians losing interest in the celebration.
"People do not understand what it stands for. All they hear is Valentine's Day but nothing significant happens for them. Many now feel it is not worthy to actively celebrate it," she stated.
From the Western Region, Clement Adzei Boye report that the GTA, in collaboration with management of the Takoradi Shopping Mall is marking the 2019 Chocolate Day with a durbar being held at the forecourt of the mall, on the theme 'My Chocolate experience'.
The day, which would highlight the importance of cocoa in the daily life of consumers, would also include live phone-in programmes on most broadcast networks within the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and the Effia-Kuma municipality.
Again, about 200 selected people from the tourist clubs and tourism plant operators would be served with chocolate and cocoa drinks and pastries.
Western Regional Manager of GTA, George Nkrumah Ansere, said that chocolate and cocoa products were good for the heart and blood circulation, reduced the risk of stroke, good for the skin, protect human from the sun rays and also help reduce cholesterol.
"It potentially lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, it is good for the brain and reduces memory loss and has good natural aphrodisiac content." It added.
A statement issued by the Western Regional Office of GTA yesterday recalled that the Ministry of Tourism under the late Minister, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, in collaboration with the GTA, Ghana Cocoa Board, Cocoa Processing Company and the Chiefs Associationof Ghana, in 2015, redesigned the Valentine's Day to Chocolate Day to intensify awareness on health and nutritional benefits of cocoa, which is also the main ingredient for chocolate in the bid to increase local production and consumption.
It said the move was to change the perception of celebration of Valentine's Day worldwide to the promotion and consumption of made-in Ghana chocolate and cocoa products while creating the awareness on the health benefits of the products.