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Lovers give kissing fish
Updated: 2004-02-11 09:13

Young couples bored with giving each other roses on Valentine's Day are turning to something more unique: tropical fish.

And the one in greatest demand has an apt name: kissing fish - so named because of its habit of puckering its lips.

The other choice called angel fish is also popular.

The two species, which live in pairs - in accordance with the spirit of Valentine's Day - are beautiful in appearance.

Sales of tropical fish are generally best between May and July, said Xu Jinlun, owner of the Jiangyin Flower & Bird Market in southeast Shanghai.

Valentine's day, however, is an exception.

"Thanks to the holiday, sales are booming. We sell 30 pairs of kissing fish per day," he said.

Prices for the loving gifts are reasonable, which is another attraction for those who can't afford expensive Valentine's Day dinners.

A pair of kissing fish costs 10 yuan (US$1.20) while an angel fish fetches slightly more.

Gong jin, a local customs employer said he might buy a pair of the fish for his girlfriend.

"They are so lovely and meaningful for that special day," he said.

A young couple was recently seen at a market, where they were carefully selecting a kissing fish.

Both agreed that a fish is a more appealing gift for lovers than traditional chocolate or flowers.

"Whenever my girlfriend sees the fish, she will think of me," said the man, Bi Youmin, with a smile.

"And it will probably last longer than a flower."

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