Do you know how Valentine’s Day began? From its horrific and bloody origins to the sweet gestures and even sweeter chocolates given today, here is a list of 13 interesting facts about Valentine’s Day you may not have known.
How did Valentine’s Day begin?
There are a couple different theories as to the origin. Valentine’s Day may have been named after Valentine of Terni, a priest who married Roman soldiers against orders from Claudius II. He was arrested and killed on February 14 in the year 269. It is said that an almond tree near his grave burst with pink flowers and all the birds choose mates, hence the term “love birds.” Another theory is that Valentine’s Day may have been named after the priest Valentine of Rome, who refused to follow Claudius II’s ban on Christianity.
While he was imprisoned, children would pass him notes through the jail window. Before he was killed on February 14, he wrote one last note to the jailer’s daughter with whom he had fallen in love and signed it “From Your Valentine.” Moving along history’s timeline, Pope Gelasius established Valentine’s Day in A.D. 500 in an attempt to appropriate the ancient pagan Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, into Christianity.
Who was St. Valentine?
It is reported that throughout history, there have been approximately eight St. Valentines. Three of them had special feast days in their honour. The two St. Valentines who most likely inspired Valentine’s Day are Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome, though some scholars speculate they are actually one person.
Where does the term “to wear your heart on your sleeve” come from?
In the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see.
When did people start giving chocolates to their Valentines?
The exact period of time isn’t know but Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
How much chocolate is sold at this time of year?
Over 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day. In the US, over $1 billion is spent on chocolate gifts.
How many people propose on Valentine’s day?
It is reported that, on average, 220,000 couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day each year.
How is it celebrated in Japan?
Since it was first introduced to Japan in 1936, Valentine’s Day and has become widely popular. However, because of a translation error made by a chocolate company, only women buy Valentine chocolates for their spouses, boyfriends, or friends. In fact, it is the only day of the year many single women will reveal their crush on a man by giving him chocolate. The men don’t return the favor until White Day, a type of “answer day” to Valentine’s Day, which is on March 14.
Did you know it is slightly different in Finland?
In Finland, Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä, which translates into “Friend’s day”. It’s more about remembering your friends than your loved ones.
Why is Valentine’s day on February 14th
In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.
What is Quirkyalone Day and Single Awareness Day?
“Quirkyalone Day” is celebrated on February 14 as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. It is geared toward people who “resist the tyranny of coupledom.” Another alternate celebration is SAD (Single Awareness Day), which reminds people that they don’t need to be in a relationship to celebrate life.
What do different coloured flowers mean?
Different colored roses have different meanings. Red means love, yellow means friendship, and pink means friendship or sweetheart. Red carnations mean admiration, white carnations mean pure love, red chrysanthemums mean love, forget-me-nots mean true love, primrose means young love, and larkspur means an open heart.
How many Valentine’s Cards are sent each year?
About 1 billion cards are exchanged each year! This makes it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year, lagging behind Christmas. An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent during the Christmas holidays.
Has Valentine’s Day been banned?
Yes. In 1653, English puritanical leader Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Realm and, subsequently banned St. Valentine’s Day customs. Valentine’s Day wasn’t observed again until Stuart King Charles II was restored to the English throne in 1660.More recently, in 2011, Iran banned Valentine cards, gifts, teddy bears, and other Valentine tokens as part of an Islamic republic backlash against the spread of Western culture. Additionally, some religious activists in India and Pakistan protest Valentine’s Day as a day of shame of lust. They view it as a Western holiday in which Westerners satisfy their “sex thirst.”
More interesting facts about Valentine’s Day
As always, I am sure some facts were missed when I compiled this list. If you know any others, share them in the comments below!