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Valentine's Day Valentine's Day History & Facts

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Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day is an annual Holiday celebrated on February 14. The main reason for the holiday is to celebrate the love between a couple in relationship. The day was established by by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD, and named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine.

  • The modern day celebration of Valentines Day is believed to begin in France and England.
  • Cupid (symbol for Roman God of love), doves, love birds, roses, hearts and arrows are all symbols of the Valentine’s Day celebration.
  • Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D.
  • In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be celebrated around seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.
  • There was a belief in the Middle Ages that the first unmarried person (of the opposite sex) you met on the morning of St. Valentine's Day would become your spouse.
  • The first Valentine gift was sent by Duke of Orleans to his wife, after he was captured in 1415.
  • In olden times, some people believed that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
  • The heart is the most common symbol of romantic love. Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart and its red color is though to be the most romantic.
  • The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Since red stands for strong feelings, red rose is a flower of love.
  • The first Valentine's Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.
  • In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Valentine’s Day. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite Valentine decorations on the wooden spoons that meant, "You unlock my heart!"
  • About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged in US each year. That's the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
  • Women purchase 85% of all valentines.
  • In order of popularity, Valentine's Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
  • Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.
  • Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are the biggest holidays for giving flowers.
  • Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine's Day each year.
  • California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine's Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • Men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine's Day.
  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an "Improvement in Telegraphy", on Valentine's Day, 1876.
  • The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C
  • Amongst the earliest Valentine's Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.
  • In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a prospective suitor. If the gift is kept, then it means she has accepted his proposal of marriage
  • If an individual thinks of five or six names considered to be suitable marriage partners and twists the stem of an apple while the names are being recited, then it is believed the eventual spouse will be the one whose name was recited at the moment the stem broke.
  • In Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine's Day to make them dream of their future husband.

 

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