10 Little-known, fun and interesting facts about Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is the day when we all celebrate love, and greetings card manufacturers and purveyors of fine chocolate, rub their hands with glee! Just in case you didn’t know the origins of Valentine’s Day, Saint Valentinus was a young Roman priest who defied his emperor, Claudius II, by secretly marrying Roman soldiers with their beloved ladies. Claudius had decreed that his soldiers could not get married, as it would take their mind off their duties. Saint Valentinus paid for his dedication to love, with his own life, on 14h February, when he was hanged. While he was in prison, awaiting his execution, he sent a love letter to his jailor’s daughter, which ended with the words ‘From your Valentine’, and that is where the tradition began. So, as you prepare your surprise gift or romantic Valentine’s dinner for two, here are ten more fun and interesting facts about Valentine’s Day.
1. It is a boost for condom sales too
It’s not just flowers, chocolates and greeting card sales that enjoy a seasonal boost form Valentine’s Day, condoms do as well. Condom manufacturers, Durex, get a twenty to thirty percent increase in sales on and around the 14th of February. Home pregnancy tests get their annual boost in sales around March.
2. It is not a happy day for everyone
Valentine’s Day might be fun for happy couples, but there is a surprisingly large number of people who don’t relish the thought of February 14th. A survey found that 40% of people simply didn’t like Valentine’s Day and that one in ten people felt more depressed than usual on the day.
3. Hallmark have made a science out of Valentine’s Day
The design of Valentine’s cards is not left to chance. Hallmark employs a team of eighty people to research and analyse the sales of cards in previous years to work out which were the most popular. They also conduct interviews with 100,000 customers each year to help them design their range of cards.
4. Each colour of rose has a different meaning
The colour and the number of roses that you send on Valentine’s Day have more meaning than you may have realised. Red roses mean love, pink mean sweet thoughts, and white roses indicate purity. A single rose is said to represent love at first sight and a dozen says ‘I love you’. Apparently, nine hundred and ninety nine roses mean ‘We will always be together’. Or, perhaps it means ‘I have more money than sense’!
5. There is one billion of Valentine’s cards sent every year
Another one of interesting facts about Valentine’s day is that the day has caught on in most countries around the world and over 1 billion cards are sent every single year. It is second only to Christmas as a card sending holiday and, over 85% of the cards are sent by women.
6. It is not only sweethearts who receive cards
Don’t worry if the postman doesn’t drop a whole pile of cards on you on February 14th, because sweethearts are pretty low down on the list of people who receive the most. Teachers are on the top of the list for receiving the most Valentine’s cards, followed by children, mothers and lastly, wives and sweethearts.
7. Valentine’s Day in Japan
Another one of fun and interesting facts about Valentine’s day is how it’s celebrated in Japan. Valentine’s Day was introduced into Japan by a chocolate manufacturer in 1936, as a way to sell more confectionery. Their marketing guys got the wrong end of the stick though, and thought that only women bought the men chocolates and that tradition has stuck. They have another day, called White Day, which is on March the 14th and this is when the men return the favour.
8. It is not an official Saint’s day
Although the story of Saint Valentinus marrying Roman soldiers is the most popular of the possible origins of Valentine’s Day, there are, in fact, several different Saint Valentines and each have a different story behind them. The confusion over the Saint is so great that it caused the Catholic Church to remove Saint Valentine’s Day from the official calendar of Catholic feasts in 1969.
9. A rather odd Valentine’s Day traditions
Here is another one of interesting facts about Valentine’s day: in eighteenth century England, on the eve of St Valentine’s Day, young girls would eat a hardboiled egg with the shell on and pin four bay leaves to their pillow, which was supposed to ensure that, should they dream of their sweetheart that night, they would become lovers.
10. Valentine’s Day is banned in some countries
Not every country in the world enjoys a day of love on February 14th. In 2001, Iran’s government banned all Valentine tokens, such as teddy bears, cards and chocolates to stop the spread of western culture onto their society. The day is also disliked by some religious factions in other countries too, where it is a seen as a day of lust and shame.
Do you know some other interesting facts about Valentine’s Day?
Stay happy, love and be loved! Happy Valentine’s Day!