Valentine’s Day is as close to a global celebration as you can get and it’s hard to find a country that won’t be puckering up this Saturday. However, not quite everybody can celebrate their love this weekend and, just to prove it, here are five places that have even banned Valentine’s Day altogether.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim population in the world and clerics in the country demand that couples and singles alike refrain from exchanging cards, flowers or express public affection with any illicit behaviour. However, this doesn’t stop much of Indonesia’s youth denying the ban by celebrating Valentine’s Day and even staging protests against the ban.
It’s a similar story in Malaysia too, where Muslims account for more than 60% of the total population. It’s no joke either, and even going out to celebrate the occasion is a risky affair in this country. The police have been known to arrest couples who get too close – an offence which can land you in prison – and even bust hotels in search of couples up to no good.
#3: Belgorod, Russia
Back in 2011, the governor of Belgorod made headlines when he cancelled Valentine’s Day out of fear for the “spiritual safety” of residents in the Russian city. “The atmosphere of these holidays does not help young people to develop spiritual and moral values,” the governor was quoted as saying.
It was a bad year for Valentine’s Day in Iran back in 2011 as well, after government officials warned that heart symbols, roses and any Valentine’s Day promotions could result in heavy fines, a prison sentence or even worse.
#5: Saudi Arabia
Conservative officials in Saudi Arabia have placed a strict ban on Valentine’s day in the country. In the approach to February 14th, the selling of roses, many red products and romantic cards is banned across the nation. Interestingly, the ban has led to the emergence of a Valentine’s Day black market, where people can go in search of romantic gifts.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are many nations across the world that love to celebrate Valentine’s Day, just read our blog from last year to see how they celebrate!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!