Valentine's Day Facts

Valentine’s Day is associated with numerous fun facts and trivia. Some of the top 30 fun facts and trivia are:

1. Cupid, a symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.

2. 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.

3. About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year. That's the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.

4. In order of popularity, Valentine's Day cards are given to: teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts.

5. Of the 73% of people who buy Valentine's Day flowers are men, while only 27 percent are women.

6. The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The color red stands for strong romantic feelings making the red rose the flower of love.

7. Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare's play lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine's Day.

8. On February 14th wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Valentine’s Day in Wales. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite Valentine decorations on the wooden spoons. This Valentine decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!".

9. Amongst the earliest Valentine's Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.

10. 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.

11. 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. 

12. About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.

13. Valentine's Day is big business. Consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine's Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers expect to rack up about $650 million in sales of food, candy, flowers, and other Valentine's Day gifts. Of that amount about $350 million will be for gifts and flowers and another $45 million will be spent on food (including chocolate) and wine. 

14. Some attribute the first “Valentine’s Card” being sent from Charles Duke of Orleans in 1415 to his wife, while a prisoner in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library.

15. “Love Birds” derives from the belief that birds chose their mates on Feb. 14. Some believe this fact is one of the origins of the Valentine’s Day Holiday.

16. About 15% of women in the US send themselves flowers on Valentines.

17. The first Valentine's Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.

18. In the middle Ages, people believed that the first unmarried person of the opposite sex you met on the morning of St. Valentine's Day would become your spouse.

19. Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, on the Valentine's Day, 1876.

20. The Taj Mahal at Agra, India is perhaps the most splendid gift of love. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beautiful wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Work on the Taj began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years. It took the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.

21. Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine's Day each year.

22. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are the biggest holidays for giving flowers.

23. While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to Christianise'.

24. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D.

25. Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.

26. In the past, in Britain and Italy, some unmarried women got up before sunrise on Valentine's Day. They stood by the window watching for a man to pass. They believed that the first man they saw, or someone who looked like him, would marry them within a year. William Shakespeare, the English playwright, mentions this belief in Hamlet.
Ophelia sings:
Good morrow! 'Tis St. Valentine's Day
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your valentine!

27. Commercial valentines were first made in the early 1800's. Many of them were blank inside, with space for the sender to write a message.

28. The British artist Kate Greenaway became famous for her valentines in the late 1800's. Many of her cards featured charming pictures of happy children and lovely gardens.

29. Many valentines of the 1800's were hand painted. Some featured a fat cupid or showed arrows piercing a heart. Many cards had satin, ribbon, or lace trim. Others were decorated with dried flowers, feathers, imitation jewels, mother-of-pearl, sea shells, or tassels.

30. The association of romance with St Valentines day dates from around the 14th century. One of the earliest written accounts of the romantic nature of Valentines day is by Geoffrey Chaucer where he notes the pairing of mating birds on St Valentines day.


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