Prague’s florists on St. Valentine’s Day

14-02-2008

All over the world couples are celebrating - and singletons are doing their best to ignore - the fact that February 14th is St. Valentine’s Day. The romantic festival has no real tradition in the Czech Republic, though in recent years, it has been becoming more and more popular. The Czech capital’s florists in particular have been enjoying a good day’s trade. Zuzana is an employee at one of Prague’s most up-market florists:

“I’m Zuzana and I am working in the office, writing the invoices and doing all of these organizational things.”

So have you had a lot of trade this Valentine’s Day, have you had increased flower sales?

“We’ve had bigger business today than on other days. That is obvious, every year this day is special for us. A lot of people come to look, because the shop looks special, and sometimes they buy something small if they don’t want to spend a lot of money.”

Can you tell me how the shop looks special, what you have done to make it look different for Valentine’s Day?

“We have many more flowers than usual here. Many red roses in particular. And it looks special because we have done our window up, and put red water in all the vases.”

Are you finding that more and more Czech customers are interested in Valentine’s Day?

“I think we get more foreign customers on Valentine’s Day, because it is still a more foreign celebration. But sometimes we find Czechs celebrating Valentine’s Day as well.”

And do you think Valentine’s Day is becoming a more acceptable idea for Czechs, or are they still quite cynical about the whole idea?

“I think young people are getting used to this celebration, this Valentine’s Day.”

Photo: Kristýna MakováPhoto: Kristýna Maková This woman is selling flowers on the street a few blocks away. Her sales are also up:

“I’m selling more, the same as every other Valentine’s Day. It’s like it was with International Women’s Day in the past. Red roses are the most popular. But tulips also sell, and carnations, and lilies, everything in fact. Whatever you like, really.”

All the florists I talked to said that they had yet to receive a Valentine’s present, they also said that this was the florist’s curse. But things may well change before the day is through – with more and more Czechs warming to the idea of St Valentine’s Day, our florists stand a higher chance of being swept off their feet this February 14 than ever before.

14-02-2008