With our main winter holidays already over, the next national holiday we get to look forward to is Valentine’s Day, so in honor of it coming up let’s take a look at fun facts about Valentine’s Day. While Valentine’s Day is thought to be specifically designated for couples to celebrate their love, we also use this holiday as a way to show our friends, family and even pets how much we love them. It is a beautiful day filled with love and romance, so as women how can we not enjoy it? So let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts about Valentine’s Day.
1. Origin of Valentine’s Day
While there are many different versions of how Valentine’s Day came about, the one that I am going to talk about takes place during the reign of Claudius II, 270 A.D. Claudius was against his men getting married during wartime because he believed that they were stronger and more capable of fighting when single. However, Bishop Valentine went against Claudius and married couples in secret. For this crime, he was jailed and then executed on February 14 but before his death, he wrote a love letter and signed it using these words “From You Valentine”! This is just one of the many interesting facts about Valentine’s Day, so keep on reading.
I think it is universally known that Xs are associated with kisses, but how did this notion come about? Many believe that the association started during the medieval times. People who were not able to write their names signed before a witness with an X and then kissed it to show their sincerity.
3. Valentine’s Day during Medieval Times
It is said that girls during the Medieval times would eat bizarre foods on Valentine’s Day in order to make themselves dream of their future husband. In addition to that atypical tradition, young men and women would also draw names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would later wear their Valentine’s name on their sleeve. Is this where the expression ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve’ came from?
4. Red Roses
Red roses are a national symbol for love and affection. It might be due to the fact that roses are the favorite flower of Venus, who is the Roman goddess of love. So you can only guess what type of flowers tend to sell out at the speed of light on Valentine’s Day! In fact, 189 million roses are sold just in the US on this national holiday.
5. Valentine’s Day Kiss
Back in 2011 on Valentine’s Day, 14 couples entered a competition in Thailand for the longest kiss. The rules of the competition stated that contestants couldn’t sit, sleep or separate or else they would be disqualified. Only a half-hour into the competition and one of them fainted! However the winning couple lasted for about 46 hours and 24 minutes. They earned a diamond ring, 3,200 dollars and of course the title for the longest kiss.
6. Chocolate Heals
Back in the 1800s doctors commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to get over a broken heart. They claimed that it would soothe their pain and calm their longing for their first love. It is really funny, because to this day women find comfort in chocolate whenever heartbreak comes about!
7. Declared as a National Holiday
Valentine’s Day was not an official holiday until King Henry VII of England declared February 14th as the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. Now places all over the world celebrate it as one of their national holidays. Let’s thank King Henry for giving us an excuse to get spoiled with chocolate and flowers!
8. Amount of Cards
150 million cards are exchanged every Valentine's Day, making it the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion (the first is Christmas). However, the majority of the cards are purchased only a week before the holiday, so don't get too mad at your man for waiting until the last second to get your gift.
9. Teachers Get the Most Love
In order of popularity, Valentine's Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and then pets. So if you're looking to get a little love, you might want to become a teacher. They get more cards than anybody else!
10. The Telephone
Valentine's Day isn't just a good day for couples. It's also great for technology. Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on Valentine's Day in 1876. Where would we be without him?
11. Men Buy More
It shouldn't be surprising that more men buy flowers for Valentine's Day than women do. In fact, men buy about seventy-three percent of flowers for the special holiday. They like to keep their partners and mothers happy.
12. Wear Your Heart on Sleeve
This phrase actually has meaning behind it. In the Middle Ages, people would draw names in order to figure out who their Valentine would be. Once they did so, they would wear the name pinned to their sleeve.
13. Chocolate Boxes
Richard Cadbury introduced the first box of Valentine's Day chocolates all the way back in 1868. That means that they've been around for way longer than you or your parents have been born. It's a tradition!
14. Cupid's Origin
Cupid is now seen as a cute little baby in a diaper that holds a bow and arrow that he uses to make couples fall in love. In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. However, in ancient Greece, Cupid was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
Around Valentine's Day, condom sales go up around 20-30 percent. That means that there's a lot of couples celebrating their love in February. At least they're being safe.
16. Groundhog Day
Did you know that Groundhog Day used to be celebrated on February 14th? Of course, it's now celebrated on February 2nd, so Cupid doesn't have to share his holiday with a furry friend.
17. Candy Hearts
If you don't like the candy hearts that your crush gives you this year, you don't have to worry. You can give them to someone else next year, because they have a shelf life of five years. They never go old.
You know lace is commonly used on Valentine's Day gifts, but do you know where the word comes from? It's Latin for "snare," because it helps you to catch a person's heart. How romantic is that?
19. Pet Gifts
You don't need a man in order to be happy. It is estimated that around 9 million pet owners will buy their pets gifts for Valentine's Day. Who needs a relationship when you have a puppy?
For every 100 single women in their 20s, there are 119 men who have never been married, widowed, or divorced in the same age bracket. Meaning women, don't give up hope! There is a man out there for you and you just might find him on Valentine's Day!
21. Money Can't Buy Love
The average person spends about $102 on Valentine's Day between gifts and dates. About 92% of married Americans will spend $60-70 on their spouse and the other $30-40 goes towards their kids, co-workers, or even their pets!
22. Sweet Tooth City
Wow! According to the National Confectioners Association, about eight BILLION candy hearts were made in 2009! There's no telling how many were sold but gosh that's a lot of love candy going out on the market!
23. True Love is out There
Never question whether you have a soul mate-he probably just took a wrong turn on his way to finding you because there are 6,000 marriages a day taking place right here in the US! That's over two million a year!
Valentine’s Day is one of the happiest days of the year, when people come together to celebrate the greatest feeling that we call love. Don’t worry if you are single because this holiday is about all different kinds of love. So how will you be spending this Valentine’s Day?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Holly Riordan and was updated by Laura Huey.