Seven Countries Where Valentine’s Day Is Not Celebrated

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honouring a martyr named Valentine. Through later folk traditions, it has become a significant cultural and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

The eighth-century Gelasian Sacramentary recorded the celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14. The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the “lovebirds” of early spring.

Although Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday, February 14 is considered a significant cultural and religious celebration of romance in the Catholic Church. On the other hand, a number of Eastern countries choose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, even in a commercial way.

Despite its popularity in countries all over the world, there are some countries where Valentine’s Day is not celebrated, most of them owing to religious beliefs.

Here are seven countries where Valentine’s Day is not celebrated:


Valentine’s Day goes against Islamic Law, and with 61 per cent of the Malaysian population being Muslims, celebration has been banned in the country.

Islamic authorities in Malaysia created the religious ruling of fatwa, banning the celebrating of Valentine’s Day since 2005.

In 2011, the Islamic morality police, Jais, arrested 80 Muslim couples for celebrating the Valentine’s Day. Officers raided numerous hotels in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, starting an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign and raids, according to a Wedded Wonderland report.


Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is a secular nation. This means that the government says it is neutral and neither supports nor disagrees with religion, according to a BBC report.

However, in the province of Aceh, the only place with Islamic rule, Valentine’s celebrations are banned as is the sale of gifts.

There have been numerous protests in recent years, stating that Valentine’s Day promotes casual pre-marital sex and the consumption of alcohol, both of which are strictly against Islamic Law.


In recent years, Iranian authorities have aimed to forbid Valentine’s Day celebrations, calling the holiday a “decadent Western custom” and threatening shops and restaurants with prosecution if they sell Valentine’s Day gifts.


Owing to its independent revolution from the British empire in 1947, the Indian government refused to advocate Western values and culture.

In 2015, party leader Chandra Prakash Kaushik told The Times of India “We are not against love, but if a couple is in love then they must get married … if they are not certain, they should not belittle love by openly going around together.”


Pakistan has been subject to numerous riots surrounding the celebration of Valentine’s Day. In 2014, two universities in Peshawar and Pakistan clashed with each other’s beliefs over the ideology of Valentine’s Day in the eyes of Islamic Law.

Students threw rocks at one another, which eventually led to gunshots being fired from both sides, injuring three students, according to Wedded Wonderland.

On February 7, 2018, the Islamabad High Court placed a ban on Valentine’s Day, claiming the day to be a cultural import from the West and “against the teachings of Islam”.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, it is taboo to show public displays of affection so the concept of Valentine’s Day doesn’t coincide with the ideologies of the country.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day could lead to severe punishment in Saudi Arabia. In 2014, five Saudi citizens were sentenced to 39 years in prison and 4,500 lashes of the cane between them, after they were found dancing with six women they were not married to on Valentine’s Day, a report by Wedded Wonderland, says.

While you can purchase love-themed gifts on any other day, red roses and other love-related items are strictly banned on Valentine’s Day, including red clothing.


Technically, Russia does celebrate a type of Valentine’s Day, but it is very different from the traditional holiday. On March 8, Russians celebrate International Women’s Day in much the same way that Western cultures celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Gifting each other flowers and chocolate is very common on this day, as is expecting husbands and boyfriends to do all the cooking and cleaning, letting women have a full day of rest.

Instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day because of a saint, Russia chooses to celebrate the love for their women, paying tribute to women across the globe and equal rights, according to Wedded Wonderland’s report.

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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