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Russian City Bans Valentine’s Day

7. February 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

No Valentine’s Day parties for the citizens of Belgorod, Russia. According to a report in The Moscow Times, local governor Yevgeny Savchenko has once again banned the holiday of love.

"The society has to think about the consequences of St. Valentine's Day celebrations,” Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor's office, told the Russian news agency Rusnovosti.ru. “We could just as well have introduced a Vodka Day.”

Savchenko first announced a Valentine’s Day ban last year, with the blessing of the local archbishop. This year, Oleg Polukhin, the governor’s first deputy, signed a new anti-Valentine’s Day order, citing “spiritual safety” as a reason to ban the popular holiday.

Following the ban’s renewal, officials at the Belgorod zoo canceled discounts for couples, and students at the city’s university are reportedly prohibited from celebrating the holiday. In the past, Valentine’s Day concerts and dances have been popular among young people.

No need for gentlemen to fret about sending their lady a gift, however. The vast majority of cities in Russian and Ukraine have no problem with Valentine’s Day celebrations and even the ban in Belgorod applies only to state agencies.

No official word from the Russian-Orthodox Church on Valentine’s Day, though they may still be dealing with the Russian women dress code controversy.