This year Valentine’s Day falls on Monday, the first day of next week. However, young people spent time on going to souvenir, flower and chocolate shops to buy special gifts for their lovers days ago, pushing up prices of gifts.

Such kinds of gifts as perfume, twin T-shirt, teddy bears, jewelry and twin pillows which cost from dozens of thousands VND to even millions VND each are the most favourite items among young couples. They can be found easily in supermarkets or shopping centres, such as Big C, Vincom Tower, Trang Tien Plaza or gift shops in Ta Quang Buu, Tran Dai Nghia, Bach Mai, Dai La and Hang Bai streets.

According to Vu Thu Ha, owner of Ha Vu souvenir shop at La Thanh street, most of unique items of gifts at her shop have been sold out. Such items as teddy bears, heart shape cuddly toys or pair of hearts were sold 1.5 times higher than last year, despite price increase by from 15,000 VND to 30,000 VND each, Ha said.

Price of other gifts, including roses, chocolates and cards rise sharply.

A red rose, which normally costs 5,000 VND jumped to 10,000 VND or even 15,000 VND each. Chocolate made in France, Belgium or Italy are sold at around 300,000 VND per box, 30,000 VND - 50,000 VND higher than last year. Prices of made-in-Vietnam Valentine cards are ranging between 25,000 VND – 40,000 VND each, which is 5,000 VND to 10,000 VND higher than last year’s festival.

In Ho Chi Minh City, many cultural activities have been held on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.

Lan Anh Music Centre is staging a spectacular music show titled “Ngoi Sao Tinh Nhan” (Star Lovers) with the participation of many famed local artists and promising young sisters at 8.00pm on Feb. 14.

Meanwhile the special monthly live show “Thay loi muon noi” (Speak for Silent Hearts) themed Hen Yeu 2011 (Rendezvous with Love in 2011) featured various love stories, sweet love’s avowals of courting couple and love songs by Elvis Phuong, Hong Hanh, Quang Dung, Thanh Thao, Hien Thuc, Phuong Linh and Nathan Lee.

The show was broadcast live on VTV4 and HTV9 at 8:30 pm on Feb. 13.

On the same night, a dazzling Valentine night fest for 100 couples lit up the romantic Anh Sao bridge in district 7 with the participation of Vietnam Idol 2010 winner, Uyen Linh.

The event was graced with Uyen Linh’s special performance of the hit song “Cam on Tinh yeu” (Thank you Love), in addition to other popular songs for teenagers performed by the duo Wanbi Tuan Anh and Truong Quynh Anh.

The event also attracted the appearance of many renowned photographers like Ly Vo Phu Hung, Quoc Huy, Hai Dong and Thanh Nguyen who were on duty to capture impressive kisses under the night sky at the fest.

Their photo will go to an exhibition held in HCM City Youth Cultural House on Valentine’s Day./.