By Kesah Princely, In Buea
Unlike previous years when the feast of Saint Valentine witnessed a high atmosphere of fanfare and camaraderie, 2022’s edition is absolutely different.
Mondays in Cameroon’s duo English-speaking regions; the Northwest and Southwest have been observed as ghost town days since January 2017.
Separatists fighting for a breakaway country have been imposing ghost town operations as a mean to ease the independence of their dream country called Ambazonia.
This week’s traditional ghost town has coincided with the 2022 edition of the feast of St. Valentine, thereby killing the momentum that usually accompanies the event.
In Bamenda, capital of the Northwest Region, businesses have remained grounded, with streets void of people.
Despite the prevelent atmosphere, the people still have their loved ones at heart.
“Is a special day for me because I receive a lot from friends and I also give to them. I will just celebrate at home,” Tembu Noela told TWIF NEWS.
Other Bamenda city dwellers just like others elsewhere in Anglophone Cameroon prefer to stay indoors and feast with their families.
“I will just stay at home and celebrate with my parents. Unlike other years that I was in Yaounde. This year I am in Bamenda and today people don’t go out,” Mbutoh Ernest revealed.
Why And How Do People Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is an annual festival to celebrate love, friendship, and admiration.
Every year, love birds all across the world express their feelings to their special ones by giving them a variety of gifts and sending them messages of love and affection.
The day falls on February 14 and is also known as St Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.
Before February 14, a whole week starting from February 7 is in different parts of the world devoted to various days such as Teddy Day, Rose Day, Chocolate Day, and others to keep the spirit of love going.
Origin of Saint Valentine’s
History says Valentine’s Day is celebrated in honour of the 3rd century Roman Saint; Valentine.
It is believed that the special day of love has its origin in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius put an end to the celebration of Lupercalia and is sometimes credited with replacing it with St. Valentine’s Day, but the true origin of the holiday is unclear at best.
According to News18.com, it is said the day may have taken its name from the Priest named Valentine who was martyred around 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus because he was secretly helping Christian couples get married to spare husbands from war.
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