Love won’t be in the air this Valentine’s Day in Iran as the country has banned production of Valentine’s Day gifts in a bid to discourage the spread of “Western” culture, local media reported.
Honoring foreign celebrations is the spread of Western culture, Ali Nikou Sokhan, head of the Iran’s printing works owners' union, was quoted as saying by ILNA news agency.
According to the printing works union, the country’s Islamic leaders have called for stopping printing and production of any products related to Valentine's Day or any promotion of the day. These include posters, brochures, and greeting cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, red roses and the like.
Reportedly, celebrating Valentine’s Day is not forbidden in Iran but public display of affection and exchanging gifts have faced ire from the Islamic virtues.
Some nationalists even have suggested replacing Valentine's Day with an ancient Iranian festival called Mehregan, which is dedicated to celebrating the essence of friendship, affection and love.
Our country has an ancient civilization and various days to honor kindness, love and affection, Sokhan said, adding that the authorities will take legal action against those who oppose the ban.
Valentine’s Day fall on every February 14 and is a popular festival among youths of the Western countries. The fame of the “celebrations of lovers” has spread across many countries worldwide and at the same time sparked social disturbance. India has had incidences of violence on Valentine’s Day by some Hindu conservative groups in the past years.