The day that we all celebrate love and more than a few men are to be found desperately searching for a last minute gift because they forgot again is nearly upon us. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day again! St. Valentine’s Day has become the second biggest day of greeting card sales, after Christmas, and red roses become almost as expensive as gold.
It’s also the day that you can declare your love anomalously to someone you admire from afar. So, to celebrate what has become the international day of love, here are ten fascinating facts about Valentin’s day that you may not have known.
1. It is a worldwide day of celebration
Valentine’s Day is huge! Even though Valentine’s Day doesn’t get most of us a day off work, it is still celebrated on the 14thFebruary, every year, all around the world. In fact, it is the second most celebrated day in the world. The only things that beat it are the annual Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations.
2. Valentine’s cards have been around a long time
There are a lot of people who complain that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a ploy by the greeting card companies to get us all to buy more cards. While there may be some truth in that, the very first greeting cards of any kind where thought to have been handmade Valentine’s cards that appeared in the 16th century. The first mass produced Valentine’s cards came into the shops as early as 1800.
3. Watch the birdie
There are lots of different traditions and superstitions related to Valentine’s Day, but this is one that we really like. It used to be believed that if you saw a robin on valentines you would marry a sailor one day, if a woman spotted a sparrow then she would end up being happily married to a poor man, and if a girl saw a goldfinch, she would strike it lucky and marry a millionaire.
4. The origins of Valentine’s Day
There are quite a lot of theories about how Valentine’s Day originated and, just to confuse things even more, there have been actually eight different St. Valentines. The most popular theory is that when the Roman Emperor Claudius II decreed that his soldiers couldn’t get married during times of war, Bishop Valentine started to marry soldiers in secret. When Claudius found out about this, he imprisoned the priest and sentenced him to death. While he was awaiting his execution in jail, Valentine sent a final love letter to his jailer’s daughter, who he had fallen in love with. He signed the letter “from your Valentine”.
5. In Finland – it’s Friends Day
In Finland, they spread the love a bit further than most of us do. Valentine’s Day in Finland is called “Friend’s day” and it’s a celebration of friendships as well as love, so they buy gifts and cards for their best friends.
6. Wearing your heart on your sleeve
The expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from a middle ages tradition. Young men and women would draw names out of a hat to discover who would be their Valentine. They would when wear that name pinned to their sleeve for a whole week, so that everyone could see the name of their Valentine.
7. It is the men who buy all the flowers
This one probably won’t be a big surprise, but most of the flowers brought on Valentine’s Day are bought by men. 73% percent of the flowers bought are bought by men, but here is something that may surprise you. 15% of US women admit to buying flowers for themselves on Valentine’s Day.
8. Valentine chocolate facts
Boxes of chocolates have become a popular Valentine’s Day gift and that all started in the late 1800s when Richard Cadbury produced his first ever Valentin’s Day box of chocolates. Today, over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the US alone. Here’s another random fact about chocolate and love. In the 1800s, doctors used to prescribe chocolate to women who were pining for a lost love.
9. Men might buy the most flowers, but women buy the most gifts
It may be the men who buy the most flowers for Valentine’s Day, but they don’t do too well when it comes to other types of gifts. Overall, women purchase more than 85% of all the gifts bought on Valentine’s Day.
10. Shakespeare’s Juliet receives Valentine’s letters every year
Every single year, the city of Verona in Italy, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives more than a thousand letters addressed to Juliet on Valentine’s Day.
Do you know other Valentine’s day facts?
Stay beautiful, and happy Valentine’s day!