Every year, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for businesses and marketing agencies to come up with more and more inventive ways for customers to show their affection for their loved ones. However, a zoo in Russia has taken an altogether different approach by creating an event allowing those who have been dumped to throw insects named after their old flames to the resident animals.
Ekaterinburg Zoo, in the Ural region city, announced it was holding the feeding session in a post on social media on Saturday. The unusual event is said to be the first of its kind at the park. On the sign-up page, which is now closed, customers were required to give their name and that of their ex-partner.
It seeks to empower lonely hearts to break free from the shackles of the negativity of their past love affairs. “It happens very often that a relationship with a partner ends and emotions such as anger, resentment and regret remain,” the message on the application form reads.
“Give yourself the right to emotion. You can do that! You can’t hit people, but you can thank your ex for the experience and feed them to animals.”
Listing the selling points of the event, the zoo noted that this would enable love-weary clients to “restore justice” and take revenge legally. “The best defense is an attack. Feel like a predator!” the website reads.
Tickets to take part in the ritual were going for less than $5, which the zoo said is much cheaper than a therapy session with a local psychologist. Punters were also promised a certificate for taking part. However, those who cannot make the event in person were reassured that they could watch the meerkats and fish chow down on the insects online.
Valentine’s Day, which falls annually on February 14, originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named St. Valentine. Today, it has become a worldwide celebration of love.
One Russian lawmaker known for his controversial LGBTQ rhetoric, Vitaly Milonov, called for a ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations on Monday, arguing that it is “a cargo cult of well-fed Western life.”
However, shops and businesses across the country have spared no expense, putting on lavish displays for amorous couples.