Countries that have a national ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations-Pakistan is the latest in the list


The history of Valentine’s Day is associated with a traditional Christian Feast day and then in the 14th century, it became associated with the romantic love. Since then all countries worldwide celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th February regardless of the religion, culture, and traditions of the country. But in some of the countries, there has been a ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations since last few years.

In Malaysia, since 2012, a celebration of Valentine’s Day in public is a crime punishable by jail time. Iran has imposed the ban on red roses, hearts, half-hearts, and any activities promoting the Valentine’s Day on 14th February since 2011. One of the provinces of Russia, Belgorod, has banned Valentine’s Day celebrations for preserving spiritual security. Saudi Arabia has imposed a strict ban on the holiday, Selling red products, roses, and love-themed cards on February 14th. Recently Indonesia has also announced a national ban on Valentine’s Day celebration.

After these five countries, Pakistan has become the latest country to impose a national ban on Valentine’s Day.

ban on Valentine's Day celebrations

In response to a petition filed by a citizen Abdul Waheed, on 13th February, just a day before Valentine’s Day, Islamabad high court banned the celebrations of Valentine’s Day at public places.  Justice Shaukat Aziz gave the verdict to stop Valentine’s day celebrations. He ordered to impose an immediate ban on all the public celebrations of Valentine’s Day. Also the court has ordered the electronic and print media to stop promoting Valentine’s Day celebrations. As per court orders, PEMRA has the responsibility of taking strict notice of all the related promotions.

According to the petitioner Abdul Waheed promotions on mainstream and social media for Valentine’s Day are against Islamic teachings. ” He said:”In the cover of the spread of love, in fact, immorality, nudity and indecency are being promoted which is against our rich culture.”

In Pakistan, we find a mixed response about the celebrations of Valentine’s Day. In previous years, localized bans of the festivals by the councils were ignored usually. The Islamic Clerical bodies are strictly against the celebrations of the festival. Even last year, The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain also called for a ban on Valentine ’s Day celebrations. He shared his views that it is an event of the West and has no connection to our Islamic celebrations. “Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided”. On the other hand businesses support the celebrations to promote their products and services. Every year from the very beginning of the month, shopping malls, restaurants, bakeries and gift shops come up with exciting valentine’s day promotions. They urge the youngsters to buy expensive gifts for their partners.

Now it depends on the police to successfully implement the orders.  Targeting the shops and restaurants still offering Valentine ’s Day gifts and services can help serve the purpose of implementing the court orders. Guidelines given by the government can help the police to enforce the orders in public places. The national ban on this western festival is a big step by the government and the judiciary.


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