Love for Chocolate is in the Air
By '57 Chocolate
Growing up as little girls, we always associated Valentine’s Day with velvet red and Pepto-Bismol pink. Valentine’s Day was a day made for large heart-shaped chocolate boxes and lollipops, greeting cards, long stemmed roses, poems, candy hearts with flirty but cheeky messages, as well as tons and tons of chocolate. Having moved to Ghana in 2014, one thing that came to our attention is that there is an entire day dedicated to chocolate. I’m sure you guessed by now, but Valentine’s Day is National Chocolate Day in Ghana.
A few years ago, Ghana’s Tourism Authority in partnership with the Cocoa Processing Company, the Ghana Chef Association and Ghana Cocoa Board declared February 14th as National Chocolate Day to promote locally manufactured cocoa products, especially chocolates. What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? It’s certainly a day less sweet.
According to the Government of Ghana, “the day was instituted to coincide with [February 14th] to reshape the celebration of Valentine’s Day and to promote the local consumption of chocolate and other cocoa-based products since cocoa is the mainstay of Ghana’s economy.”
One other thing we notice, Valentine’s Day is a celebration that Ghanaians take very seriously. Throughout the city of Accra you will find mothers, lovers, men and women decked out in red from head to toe. Shops and restaurants splashed in red, from the window to the wall promoting event specials for lovebirds and/or singles.
Here’s a fun fact for you. Usually the day after Valentine’s Day, newspaper headlines read “Mad Rush for Condoms” (Yes, this article is real). Unfortunately, pharmacies run out of condoms and cannot meet demand. On a more positive note, it’s great that individuals are at least practicing safe sex. All things considered, perhaps declaring February 14th as National Chocolate Day was a tactic for the government to encourage fellow Ghanaians to bestow their lovers with a more sweeter chocolate flavored gift.
Whereever it is that you reside— if you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, in a relationship or single and ready to mingle, please treat yourself to some chocolate.
Happy National Chocolate Day to all our fellow chocolate lovers!