When we think of Valentine’s Day we think of spending quality time with our Valentine. It is a time to express our love for our significant other through gifts – traditionally flowers, chocolates and maybe a nice dinner; however, there’s more to the holiday of love than what meets the eye. Here are 9 fun facts about Valentine’s Day. How many did you know?
- Roman Pope Gelasius officially declared the date of February 14th as “St. Valentine’s Day” at the end of the 5th century, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the holiday became associated with romance and love. A tradition that stemmed from the common belief in France and England that birds began their mating season on February 14th.
- According to The Balance, Valentine’s Day is the fifth-largest spending event in the United States each year. The National Retail Federation revealed that in 2021, a total of $21.8 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations. Now that’s a lot of celebration!
- The first heart-shaped box was produced in 1861 by Richard Cadbury, the son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury. It was designed as a marketing strategy to gain more sales. We would say it was a success since today more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes full of candy are sold every year.
- The day of love often marks the beginning of new life chapters considering almost 6 million couples, on average, get engaged each Valentine’s Day.
- Valentine’s Day is the busiest time of year for florists accounting for upwards of 30% of all holiday sales, even surpassing Mother’s Day arrangements. Roses account for more than half of these holiday sales and while California accounts for 60% of roses produced in America the vast number of Valentine’s Day roses sold come from South America.
- Of the previously mentioned rose sales, 16% of these sales are flowers purchased by women for themselves according to the Society of American Florists.
- Jewelry is a popular gift among Americans for Valentine’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $6.2 billion (yes, that’s a “B”)on jewelry this year alone.
- “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” isn’t just some catchy emo phrase. It had significant meaning during the Middle Ages. During a festival honoring the Roman goddess Juno, Roman men would draw the names of women they would be partnered with for the following year (bear in mind, Emperor Claudius II didn’t condone marriage, only temporary couplings.) According to Smithsonian.com, they would then show off the name of their intended one by wearing their heart on their sleeves for the rest of the celebration.
- Cupid wasn’t always a sweet, innocent baby! Cupid is historically an “unconquerable” mythological god who is said to be the son of Venus, the Roman love goddess and the Roman god of war, Mars. Cupid appropriately translates to “passionate desire” as Cupid is seen as the god desire, erotic love, attraction and affection