Hello lovely lovers – guess what Cupid’s got marked in the calendar next month? Around this time last year, I blogged about Saudi Arabia’s stance on Valentine’s Day today.
Perusing the news online today, I discovered via Time Magazine, that Iran also put the kybosh on the day of hearts, flowers and alter-day symbols of affection exchanged each February 14th in alignment with Western custom.
What’s in a Day?
I’ve always been of the school of thought that every day should be lovers’ day, rather than designating a single date on which to profess love or romantic intention, but then again the postman’s never exactly incurred backache trying to deliver cards and gifts to my door on this particular day.
But nor have I ever lived in a country, like Iran, where the day has been officially banned. This January, Iran’s state run media has announced that production of Valentine’s gifts or promotion of romance between men and women is prohibited.
Love and the Law
While romance may be off the menu for singles, love is not against Iranian law, and the Christian holiday of Valentine’s Day isn’t technically illegal. However, under Islamic law, unwed couples are not allowed to mingle and therein lies the crux of the problem.
Reuters reports that Valentine’s Day has become increasingly a la mode among Iran’s young population, which actually constitutes a hefty demographic. Around 70% of Iranians are under 30.
Instructions for Love
The guidelines issued by the media warn that legal action could be taken against those found to violate the new ruling, which reads:
“Printing and producing any products related to Valentine’s Day, including posters, brochures, advertising cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned,”
Any Iranian readers out there fancy sharing their opinions on this matter. Do you think Valentine’s Day should be embraced or kissed goodbye?