February 14th marks St. Valentine's Day around the world and the Czech Republic is no exception. Florists across the country are doing brisk business, while pubs and clubs are offering special Valentine's Day menus. Regarded as a western holiday, Valentine's Day was not celebrated during the days of Communism. Now, though, it's becoming increasingly popular - and of course lucrative for shops and businesses. But as we found out when we took to the streets of Prague, many Czechs are far from enthusiastic...
"I don't celebrate this holiday, I'm too old for that."
"I don't need this commercial day to give flowers to my boyfriend."
"I don't celebrate the holiday. I am simply not interested in it. It just sounds so artificial. It's saying 'hooray, this is the day we express our love'. I find that strange. When I like a girl I don't need February 14th to tell her, I can tell her any day of the year."
"I have been single for three years now and I'm beginning to hate Valentine's day. The trams are full of couples in love, smiling women with flowers. It's depressing in a beautiful, romantic city such as Prague when you're single, believe me."
Sociologists say "foreign" holidays such as Valentine's Day and Halloween are becoming more popular in the Czech Republic because they differ sharply from traditional holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Although they say there's little danger of Czechs forgetting their centuries-old traditions.