As mid-February, approaches with the dying coldness of winter and the rejuvenating hints of emerging spring, the sparks of warmth, love, and passion are rekindled. It is the month of love — February 14th, Valentine’s Day is a day away. However, we all know that valentine’s day is not just a day celebration; it’s a week-long celebration of love —Valentine’s week—ultimately culminating into the much-awaited climax.
Kolkata’s Valentine’s celebration
Although in the City of Joy, Kolkata, the romantic mood has already set in from the time of Saraswati Puja, widely regarded as the “Bengali Valentine’s Day”. This pre-Valentine’s day was celebrated by fervent young couples dressed in traditional sarees and Punjabis crowding the landmarks of the love of the city. Many instances were reported where the couples had to wait in queues before they could enter the much-coveted premises of Rabindra Sarovar, and the grounds of the Victoria Memorial overflowing with people. Now as Valentine’s day is not that far, Kolkata is adorned with hues of love with decorations, offers, and events lined up.
The malls of the metropolis are stunningly decked up with red heart-shaped streamers, roses, balloons, fairy-lights, bathing the atmosphere in an ethereal glow. Jewellery shops provide special discounts. Famous hotels, restaurants and food chains like Radisson, Barbeque Nation, The Westin, Marriott are hosting live-band performances, DJ nights, candle-light dinners, banquets, valentine’s special buffet.
Fun activities like a chocolate workshop at Central Park on Chocolate Day, photography shoot at Eco Park on Rose Day, Valentine’s Day Cruise on River Ganges were definite eye-catchers.
The speciality of Kolkata lies in the fact that all the fun is not restricted to couples only. There is something or other for everyone, beyond the barriers of age group and relationship status.
Oxford Bookstore, Park Street, has organised an event “To All, With Love” where children would be telling stories, reciting poems of love and compassion, followed by games and puzzles. The highlight of the event is a highly fascinating one. The event, called “Be My Valentine”, a letter-writing contest where the participants pen down a letter to their favourite authors to win a chance to be gifted with a signed copy of the author’s book caught the attention of many.
Sky Turf, Kolkata, has another exquisitely unique event lined up for the season of love, concentrating on ‘self-love’ rather than romantic love. “Love is in the Air” organised by them is an open-air Zumba and salsa evening, solely for self-pampering wellness workout session accompanied by extravagant music and snacks.
Amidst the glittering malls, restaurants, bars, hotels, and specialised shops, the small locals’ stores, inconspicuous handmade goods markets also experience a rise in sales during this time. The street hawkers selling roses, balloons, hand-stitched teddies, and candies managed to get a better profit due to increased demands.
NGOs in Kolkata have taken the initiative to spread the awareness of buying local handmade items to mark the festival of love rather than going for elaborate, expensive shops. By doing this, one can truly make Valentine’s day unique and special, filling love and joy in the hearts of the needy, apart from their own.
Celebrate the feelings of love and togetherness this season and make the moments remarkable by spending time with the ones you love.