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General public request free chocolate from COCOBOD on Valentine's Day

 

Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - The general public on Valentine’s Day urged the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to distribute chocolate freely to emphasis Valentine’s Day which has been adopted as National Chocolate Day in Ghana.

     They contended that since Ghana adopted the day in 2006, nothing had been done about the prices of chocolate, rather it kept on increasing making it impossible for “Ghanaians to afford a bar of chocolate”.

     A box of big size chocolate containing 10 bars cost between GHc28 and GHc30, the medium size of 20 pieces cost GHc24 and GHc30, while the small size which also contains 10 pieces of chocolate in a pack cost GHc14.

     In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Tuesday, Madam Afia Antwi, a trader said “Though we grow cocoa in Ghana and produce chocolate, we cannot afford to buy one. We expect that on Valentine’s Day, we should at least get a bar to bite”.

     Ms Sandra Dzokoto, another trader told the GNA that government should at least subsidise the price of chocolate to enable every Ghanaian to buy one to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.

     Meanwhile, the day celebrated in grand style in the past with lots of events and activities amidst colourful decorations mostly red and white colours at various joints and spots received low patronage in the country, this year.

     A visit around Accra Metropolis on the Day saw people going about their normal duties unlike previous years when people were seen dressed in red and white attires celebrating the Day.

     Mr Kwame Mintah, a civil servant said, “Everybody is hot thinking about how to survive these days, there is no money to spare for Valentine's Day celebration".

     In Ghana, Valentine’s Day celebration is popular among the youth, who believed that the Day is associated with promiscuity and preferred celebrating the event with their partners at night clubs, discos, drinking spots and hotels.

     To give a new image to the celebration, government in 2006 introduced the National Chocolate Day to create awareness of the quality of Ghana Chocolate.

     Every February 14, across the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of Saint Valentine.

     The practice has now gained roots in Ghana, especially with the youth who have twisted the event to suit their individual needs and wishes.

     The history of Valentine's Day and the story of its patron saint are shrouded in mystery. February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains relics of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition

     The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.

     When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

     While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial-which probably occurred around AD 270, others claimed that the Christian church might have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.

    Celebrated at the middle of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

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