Despite the fragile economic situation, the Mexican offer to celebrate Valentine’s Day this February 14 is very extensive and ranges from the infallible stuffed animals, flowers, sweets and chocolates to the candles, lotions and soaps “prepared” by santeros .
These days, like those before any of the significant dates such as Christmas, Magi or Mother’s Day, which represent potential sales, the surroundings of the popular Mercado de Sonora, in the center of Mexico City, attest the visit of thousands of people who go in search of gifts for the so-called Feast of Friendship and Friendship.
“The sale increases a little more these days,” he told Efe Abner, who has been selling special products for this celebration for 10 years around the Sonora Market.
Although people believe with the date of February 14 “prices increase,” it is not so, but what does rise is demand, he said, despite the fact that the country’s economic figures are not encouraging.
According to preliminary data, Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.1% in 2019, which represents a substantial drop compared to the 2.1% growth of the previous year.
In addition, in 2018, 41.9% of the population (52.4 million) lived in poverty and the daily minimum wage reaches 123.22 pesos ($ 6.6).
That is why for the president of the National Alliance of Small Merchants (ANPEC) of Mexico, Cuauhtémoc Rivera, February 14 is a date on which this year “it is necessary to make a responsible expense” and make a stop at the time of consume”.
“Do not fall into the temptation to sacrifice what is necessary for the luxury, you do not have to compromise even more the meager family finances,” said recently the head of the ANPEC.
DINNERS AND TEDS, THE MOST POPULAR
According to a De las Heras Demotecnia survey, 58% of Mexicans celebrate February 14, 23% usually spend less than 100 pesos ($ 5.3) on the gifts of that day, and only one in 10 (1 %) said he spends more than 1,000 pesos ($ 53.6).
The study indicates that four out of ten Mexicans usually celebrate with a romantic lunch or dinner, while 18% give away sweets, 13% flowers, 8% clothes, 4% perfumes, 2% jewelry, 2% stuffed animals and 1 % give away a trip.
With a cost between 220 pesos ($ 11.8) and 25 pesos ($ 1.3), stuffed animals are still very popular on Valentine’s Day.
As for price, the exception is large stuffed animals such as huge bears, unicorns or animated character figures that reach prices of up to 2,000 pesos (about $ 107).
“The stuffed animals are still working as a gift,” he told Efe Rocío, who has sold his stuffed animals almost all his life.
“In previous years the bears worked very well, but the changos (monkeys) have sold very well,” added the woman, who settled two months ago to take advantage of the Christmas season and Three Wise Men and has extended it until mid February.
Another gift among Mexicans, very easy to find, is balloons.
“A balloon is a very simple gift, but very significant,” says Cecilia, who serves a mobile metal balloon store with costs between 10 and 60 pesos (0.5 and 3.2 dollars).
BOTTLES FOR LOVE
In addition to the classic gifts, Mexicans come to the Sonora Market, opened in 1958, to “find love” through spells, potions, lotions, soaps and “works” of santeria.
Mrs. Guillermina, a trader with more than 30 years in the market, says that if people seek to establish a relationship or start the relationship they arrive in search of “attractive” products.
If over time the relationship thrives, those interested return with “photos” to make a “sweetening”, to ask that the courtship progress or the marriage be fortified.
Sometimes the “man walks around with another (lover), so the wife brings the picture of the woman and asks me to separate them or fight” and this can be done with candles, soaps, lotions or spells, he added.
Another saleswoman, Mireya, told Efe that people arrive at the Sonora Market “to find love” and to achieve that goal they can use from the “arrow perfume” to the “love powder”, as the mythical “Come to me “, as well as candles and amulets.
“Those who do not have a boyfriend come to get and those who have, so they do not go. And others to take away the ‘enemies’ (suitors of the prospect of boyfriend),” he said.
In that search for love, De las Heras Demotecnia also addressed applications such as Tinder in his survey.
According to the study, conducted over 16 years by telephone survey, for 7 out of 10 Mexicans “dating applications do not work to discover true love” and only 16% say they have used an “app” for that purpose.