Every year on February14th, across the United States and around the world, millions of people exchange cards, candy, flowers, and gifts to celebrate a centuries-old holiday which generated from ancient Roman rituals. There is great mystery around the saint which the ritual is named after, St. Valentine.
The start is believed to be to be from the traditions of both Christian and ancient Roman. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who continued to perform marriages, even after Emperor Claudius II outlawed it because the emperor believed single men made better soldiers. When Emperor Claudius II discovered that St. Valentine defied him, he ordered St. Valentine put to death. Another story suggests that Valentine was put to death for helping Christians escape the deplorable Roman prison conditions. While imprisoned, Valentine sent the first “valentine” letter himself to a young-girl he had fallen in love with. It’s believed that before he was put to death, he signed “From your Valentine.”
Did You Know?
1 Billion: Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually
85%: Valentine purchases made by women
2nd: Valentine’s is the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas
Red Rose: The Roman goddess of love, Venus’ favorite flower
189 Million: Stems of roses sold in the U.S.
3%: Pet owners who will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets
Teachers: The group that will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards
X: The symbol that became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times when people could not write their names. They would put an X and then kiss it to show sincerity.
Chocolate: The food physicians would advise their patients eat to mend a broken heart in the 1800s
Cadbury: The first boxed chocolates for Valentine’s Day introduced in the late 1800s
$1 Billion: Worth of chocolate purchased in U.S.
35 Million: The number of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate sold
73%: Flower purchases are made by men
1000: Number of letters Verona, the Italian city where Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet lived, receives addressed to Juliet.
15%: Percent of women who send flowers to themselves
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