Florists with wilting bouquets of red roses and street vendors clutching unsold balloons were heartbroken in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, February 14, after the Taliban’s morality police banned Valentine’s Day celebrations.
While Valentine’s Day has never been widely celebrated in Afghanistan, some well-off residents in cities have developed a tradition of marking the lovers’ day in recent years.
In Kabul’s famed Flower Street, shops were full of heart-shaped garlands and red stuffed animals but hopelessly empty of customers.
In the window of one outlet, a poster signed off by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice warned shoppers: “Avoid celebrating lovers’ day!”
The poster said Valentine’s Day “is not Islamic and is not part of the Afghan culture but a sloganeering day of the infidels.”
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