The euphoria, which often characterised the St. Valentine’s Day celebrations in previous years is gradually losing grounds in the Kumasi Metropolis.
The usual wearing of red attires and other adornments for the occasion as well as the display of items like Teddy bears, red huts, and gift cards for sale are not as widespread as formerly.
The St. Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14 is a folk tradition, which has become a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of love in many countries of the world.
In Ghana, the Tourism Authority has renamed the day as ‘National Chocolate Day’, to boost the consumption of chocolate and other cocoa products, which are healthy and nutritious.
It is also to help promote domestic tourism and give a healthy orientation to the celebration.
A tour of some principal streets in Kumasi by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Tuesday indicated that activities were low key as most people seemed not to be aware of the day.
Though there were few sales points displaying Valentine items, the patronage was low, as described by the vendors.
Madam Mercy Ofori, a chocolate seller, told the GNA that the celebration could be the worst in recent years since people were not enthused to get chocolates and other items as it used to be, ahead of the celebrations.
She attributed it to the current socio-economic challenges but was optimistic that things could pick up in the course of the day.
Mrs Adwoa Baidoo, owner of a unisex boutique at Adum, lamented the trend of sales, especially of ladies’ “red pants” and other red materials associated with the celebrations, saying it was not encouraging.
She expressed doubt if people would troop to entertainment joints in evening to celebrate, noting that two years ago, around this time, she had already ran out of stock of many of the items.
Mr Yaw Mensah, a secondhand clothes seller, said: “The economic hardships had affected everything, including the chocolate day”.
He called on Ghanaians not to use the occasion for merry making alone but reflect on the current economic challenges to work hard to support the recovery agenda.