Different brands of chocolate and cocoa products have flooded the streets and markets of Kumasi ahead of this year’s Valentine’s Day, also known as Chocolate Day in Ghana.
Local and foreign chocolates, some presented in hampers with other items like red attire, panties, gift cards, bags, flowers, candies, teddy bears, and shoes are the talk of town.
Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a day set aside within the month of February for lovers, family, and friends to show love among themselves and many anticipate spending quality time with their dear and loved ones by going on romantic dates, gifting them special tokens of love, asking out their potential love interest, and many more.
It originated as a Western Christian feast day honouring one or two early saints named Valentinus and is recognised as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world. It is characterised by the wearing of red clothes by celebrants.
Ghana, over the years, celebrates the day with entertaining events like movie and theatre shows.
In 2005, the country instituted National Chocolate Day to coincide with Valentine’s Day, to promote the consumption of Made-in-Ghana chocolate and cocoa products.
This is to position cocoa and the chocolate experience as a strong element of the Ghana tourism experience, promote domestic tourism and give a healthy orientation to the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Ghana.
Also, it aims at creating awareness for Ghanaians to appreciate the health benefits of chocolate, and to promote Ghana as the ‘home’ of chocolate.
The celebration is usually spearheaded by the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture in collaboration with Cocoa Processing Company, Ghana Cocoa Board and the Cocoa Producing Companies.
The inception of National Chocolate Day has increased local patronage of chocolate and cocoa products, offered employment opportunities to numerous artisanal chocolatiers, cocoa-based products processing entrepreneurs, minimised social vices associated with the celebration of Valentine’s Day, amongst others.
In 2022, the event was made a full week’s celebration dubbed: “National Chocolate Week”, with various activities, including presentation of chocolate to institutions, family day out, poetry shows, health walk, and movie premiers among others.