Red roses hide in back room closets, while chocolates shaped like hearts are sold in cloak and dagger style transactions.
If you’re in Iran and celebrating Valentine’s Day this year, you will be committing a crime.
The Middle Eastern country, known for its hostility towards Western ways, is warning of a crackdown on shops engaging in Valentine’s celebrations labelling it a criminal offence.
The police on Friday issued a warning to the coffee and ice cream trade union to discourage any gatherings where boys and girls exchange Valentine’s gifts. In Iran it is an offense to show public affection between the sexes and Valentine’s is seen as a big taboo.
This comes as part of the government’s plans to further clampdown on the spread of Western culture in Iran.
Saudi Arabia, a major ally of the USA, is another middle-eastern country on the anti-Valentine’s bandwagon. It’s religious police patrol chocolate, flower and souvenir shops to make sure nothing red or heart shaped is being sold on the day of, and the days leading up to the day of romance.
Hooray for the net! A quick search in Arabic on Google Saudi Arabia still came up with lots of mail options. Romance in the East is still very much alive.