WATCH: Flowers and friendship – how Finns celebrate Valentine’s Day

Has the annual event become too commercial - do you like the emphasis on relationships or do you prefer the Finnish tradition of celebrating friendship?

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Romantics from Rovaniemi to Riihimäki (and all points in between!) are saying it with flowers, and celebrating St. Valentine’s Day today.

In Finland however, it’s not just a day for loved-up couples. It’s also known as ‘Ystävänpäivä’ or Friends Day and it’s not uncommon for friends or colleagues to give each other cards, or small gifts like cookies, balloons or flowers.

At Kaivo Kukka in Helsinki’s Kamppi shopping centre, florist Susanna is braced for a busy day. She and her colleagues expect to serve up to 300 customers per hour.

“Everybody should have €10 to make your husband or wife or whoever works with you happy” she tells News Now Finland.

Susanna says roses are the most popular flowers on Valentine’s Day, when most of the buyers are men.

“Roses, tulips and all kinds of bouquets” says Susanna, noting that dried flowers like cotton and lavender are also becoming a trend, because of how long they last.

Shoppers we spoke to noted how commercial Valentine’s Day has become in recent years.

“Valentine’s Day to me has always meant spending time with your loved one” says Tyler Prinkey, who is originally from the USA.

“It’s been a little bit commercialised in the past, needing to buy lots of nice things or going to dinner” says Tyler, who plans to surprise his girlfriend at work with flowers and chocolates today.

Teresa Lehtinen says she thinks Valentine’s Day is “quite a nice holiday, but it’s quite commercial, I like the message I guess”.