Red Roses Hit the Black Market as Saudis Ban Valentine's Day Gifts

Anyone in Saudi Arabia looking to shower a loved one with Valentine’s Day gifts better be ready to break the law and shell out serious cash.

Religious police in the Arab country are banning the sale of any gifts related to the romantic holiday, driving up black market prices for offerings like the ever-popular red rose, according to BBC News.

Shop workers actually said they were warned to remove all red items from their stores, BBC News reported.

Valentine’s Day is one of many holidays that are considered un-Islamic holiday and thus are prohibited by Saudi authorities, the station reported. But it has an even bigger stigma than most, as it is thought to encourage relations between unwed couples, which is illegal in the conservative kingdom.

Still, Saudis seem determined to celebrate the holiday.

Many people order flowers days or weeks in advance in anticipation of the ban, BBC News reported.

"Sometimes we deliver the bouquets in the middle of the night or early morning, to avoid suspicion," one florist told the Saudi Gazette.

Others travel to neighboring countries to celebrate, BBC News reported.

Click here to read more on this story from the BBC News website.