Saudi Arabia Bans Sale of Red Flowers, Gifts Ahead of Valentine's Day

Saudi Arabia has banned the sale of all red gift items, including red roses, leading up to Valentine's Day, according to the Guardian.

Saudi religious police in the conservative Muslim nation say the reason for removing everything red from store shelves is because the celebration of Valentine's Day promotes sin and encourages relationships out of wedlock, the U.K. newspaper reported.

In Riyadh, the ban began on Sunday and will remain in effect until after February 14.

But the move has pushed up the price of red flowers on the black market, with some florists making deliveries in the middle of the night, the Guardian reported.

It is forbidden in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to socialize together. Relations outside marriage are punishable by law.

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