Friday Feb 23, 2024
Friday Feb 23, 2024

Valentine’s Day in the ‘new normal’

2021 Feb 14, 7:32, KATHMANDU

The Nepal government decided to officially end the COVID-19 lockdown it had imposed from March 24 last year on July 21. Along with the lifting of the lockdown businesses have gradually started reopening and people have started moving out of their homes.

One can now witness the daily hustle and bustle on the streets like in the days before the lockdown was announced by the government. People have started visiting their favourite shops, restaurants and bars albeit with a lot of caution.  

And many have heaved a sigh of relief as they will be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved ones. The trend of celebrating Valentine’s Day has been catching up with many people in recent years in Nepal.

But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

According to historical records, Roman Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. A priest named Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret.

When Emperor Claudius found this out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. There, Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14 he sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’. And from then on the trend of celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14 started which has gained prominence over the centuries.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is an old Roman tradition. Later, the church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian celebration and decided to use it to remember St Valentine too.

Slowly, people started to use St Valentine’s name to express their feelings to their loved ones.

So, what are people in Nepal doing this Valentine’s Day?

Ramesh Chaudhary, a 40-year-old from Nayabazar, shares, “One is so occupied these days when you have to provide bread and butter to your family, but I will take a little time out to spend some intimate time with my wife.” 

Meanwhile, Binu Neupane, a 27-year-old who has been living in Australia for a couple of years now, says, “I know it is kind of clichéd and tacky but i love that day. Even when I just get a rose from a friend on that day it makes me feel special,” she shares, adding, “I am planning to have a romantic dinner in my balcony with my partner.”

Likewise, Suparna Gurung, a 20-year-old from Kathmandu, says that she has not met her girlfriend for a long time due to the pandemic and studies. “I plan on packing a few sandwiches and going on a hike with my partner,” she adds.

However, there are some like Shawn Rai, a 25-year-old from Kathmandu, for whom Valentine’s Days this year is going to be a virtual occasion. “My partner is not here and though he is not so interested in the concept of Valentine’s Day we will have a video chat that day,” he shares. “Long-distance relationships are difficult to manage but one needs to make do with what is available.”

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