Uzbekistan has canceled Valentine’s Day, what it deems a “lightweight, artificial event,” according to the BBC, and instead opted to celebrate the birthday of a conquering descendant of Genghis Khan, one who occasionally beheaded his enemies and stacked the heads into towers. He was also a poet.
Modern-day Uzbekistan’s government decided to celebrate the life of such a leader. In lieu of valentines and chocolates, “[government officials] were instructed to mark Babur’s birthday with poetic festivals,” according to AFP.
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur’s reign began the Mughal Empire, which ruled much of modern-day India and Pakistan for several hundred years. Advances in the empire include the Taj Mahal, seamless globes, a volley gun, and the Urdu language.
Other notable Feb. 14th birthdays include Jack Benny, Florence Henderson, Teller (of Penn and Teller), Simon Pegg, and Rob Thomas.