Where Valentine’s Day is unloved—and forbidden
The celebration of romance, inspired by a Christian saint, is unwelcome where it’s seen as foreign and immoral.
Hearts, flowers, and kisses are part and parcel of Valentine’s Day, which has been celebrated with displays of romance and affection for centuries in some Western nations. In an Ipsos survey of people in 28 countries around the world, a whopping 55 percent of respondents said they planned to mark the occasion with their partner. But for people in some parts of the globe, celebrating the holiday—which marks the feast day of St. Valentine, a Christian martyr—is taboo or even illegal: Religious edicts and concerns about the spread of Western commercial culture have quashed the annual February 14 festival of lovers.
From bans to mass arrests and even threats of forced marriage, here’s where it’s been discouraged,