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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 15:22 GMT
In pictures: Valentine's Day

Heart decorations in a shopping centre in Sofia, Bulgaria

Romantics around the world are celebrating Valentine's Day, an occasion named after a Christian saint.

A man selling heart-shaped balloons in Manila, in the Philippines

On Valentine's Day, gifts - from inexpensive to extravagant - are given as expressions of love. Here, a Filipino man sells heart-shaped balloons in Manila.

Palestinians walk past a shop selling Valentine's Day gifts in Gaza City

In Gaza, local carnations are the basic flowers on offer because of the Israeli blockade of the territory which has resulted in other flower varieties being kept out.

Iraqi women shop for Valentine's Day gifts in Baghdad

Iraqi women shop for gifts in a shop in the capital, Baghdad.

Vendors prepare bunches of red roses at a flower stall on Valentine's Day in Nairobi, Kenya

With this year's violence in Kenya affecting much of the country, roadblocks and barricades on the streets have made it harder to get flowers to market for Valentine's.

A flower seller in Hanoi, Vietnam

The day is celebrated with flowers in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi...

A flower seller in Shanghai, China

...while in Shanghai a Chinese man buys a bouquet from a flower seller.

Women in a hot tub in Hakone, Japan

In Japan, chocolate is a favoured gift, and these women take a special chocolate bath at a hot spring resort in Hakone.

Activists of Indian right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena protest Valentine's Day

However, these protesters in Delhi staged a rally against Valentine's Day, which they describe as an assault on traditional Indian values.





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