As Valentine’s Day on February 14 is approaching. The souvenir shops in the Mansheya area of Alexandria have prepared for the occasion with roses, hearts, red lips and flowers. The prices have increased compared to previous years.
Teddy bears are enough now between LE90 and over LE400, depending on the color and size, while doll prices reached LE150.
Gift shop owner Mohamed Nour said: “The prices are high this year compared to last year because raw materials are very expensive in the industry and new gifts such as letters are made from orchid wood.”
Employee Mamdouh Zayed said: “I would like to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for my wife, but the prices are very high this year.”
Zayed pointed out that even teddy bears can cost over LE 400, and said that the price of a whole gift after wrapping and adding flowers could exceed LE1,000, which he cannot afford.
Another employee Said Abdel Ghaffarfeared that the rising prices for Valentine’s Day gifts would damage the market due to weak purchasing power and that citizens would prefer to buy the necessary goods.
He complained about how gifts that were once offered at LE100 are now offered at LE400.
The student Mohamed Muhareb suggested replacing these useless and expensive gifts only with red roses, which symbolize love – the whole purpose of the occasion.
Egypt also celebrates its own twist on Valentine’s Day on November 4th.
On November 4, 1988, journalist Mostafa Amin published a proposal that some of his readers had made to him to indicate what Egyptian Valentine’s Day should look like so that the same day would be set on the occasion.
The historical origin of Valentine’s Day goes back to an event that took place in the third century AD, when Christianity was still flourishing. The Roman Empire under Emperor Clydes II forbade soldiers from marrying so that they would not be distracted.
Saint Valentine confronted this judgment and kept the marriages of young couples a secret until it was discovered and sentenced to death on February 14, 269 AD.
Other stories say that the saint is venerated by large numbers of women, which led to his execution.
Revised translation by Al-Masry Al-Youm