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Young Greeks celebrate Valentine's Day at home

14 February 2012 / 22:02:18  GRReporter
5988 reads

Victoria Mindova

Valentine's Day may not be traditional to the Greek Orthodox Church, but many young people in the country choose to celebrate their love on that day. Heart-shaped balloons and inscriptions "I love you" are hanging on the windows, reminding people that they have to say more often to their beloved ones how important they are to them.

"In the week before Valentine's Day there is a high demand for playful lingerie and sheer dressing-gowns," said the manager of a central women's fashion shop in the northern suburbs. She stressed that mainly women are preparing for the holiday, as they want to surprise their mate with a pleasant appearance in a romantic atmosphere. Large chains comply with the economic situation in the country and offer certain promotional items that would be appropriate for the holiday. "Red lingerie, lace or fine stockings are most preferred."

Although many restaurants offer special promotions for couples on the evening of Valentine's Day, more people in love who decide to celebrate prefer to do it at home. A study by GRReporter shows that one in five couples has decided to go out to celebrate. "We will go out just for a change. We were better organized in previous years – we booked a table in a small tavern, which is one of our favourite places, but this year we changed the plan. We will just go out to have a glass of wine without heavy dinners," Stefania, who is 32 years old, shared her plans. She stressed that her boyfriend has been unemployed for the last year. Their financial situation does not allow them to get married as they had planned before the company in which he worked until March 2011 went bankrupt. "We are saving money and trying to adjust to the situation, so we rarely go out. However, we will celebrate this day like we are free of all cares," the young woman is determined.

The economic crisis has severely suppressed the mood of young people in Greece and the recent arson and vandalizing do not contribute to improving the atmosphere. Prospects for reducing wages by half and the growing threat of new cuts does not help them make significant gestures but this does not prevent their creativity. Yiannis, aged 23, who has recently started a romantic relationship, surprised his girlfriend with a morning breakfast of a heart-shaped toast. "It was the only thing that came to my mind when I woke up. I did not want to buy her some teddy bears the previous days, and flowers, she would notice. Breakfast on the other hand is important, and it was served with love," Yiannis told about his funny surprise. He and his girlfriend are also going to celebrate in an intimate atmosphere instead of going out to restaurants.

Flower shops have been preparing for the holiday since early February. Mainly red roses, carnations, gerberas and gardenias are preferred. "Recently, in addition to the usual lavish bouquet, there has been a preference for the flowers in small glass vases with coloured soil or gel,  arranged together with a plastic heart-shape," a flower shop owner on a street in the Athens district Halkidos Patisia explained the trends for the holiday. He said that traditionally, Greeks prefer to give away small potted flowering plants for different occasions, but on Valentine's Day, its is mostly bouquets that are in demand. "These holidays are a good opportunity for us to work a little more. It is not easy and people do not want to spend much money because they do not know how Greece will wake up the next day. Therefore, we adjust the prices to the situation in the country." Despite the development of the economic crisis, young people in Greece do not give up the positive emotions and find a way to celebrate their love appropriately.

Tags: SocietyValentine's DayCelebrationCrisisGreece
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