Few days from now we will be celebrating the most romantic day of the year- Valentine’s Day. Ever wondered how February 14 became the day on which we celebrate Valentines Day?
There are different stories and opinions on how Valentines Day started. One story say that during the Roman Empire a festival every February was held in honor of the God of Fertility and during this time young Roman men and women would pair off as lovers. However Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed all marriages thinking unmarried soldiers would be more likely to enlist in the army. But couples in love and still wished to marry took their desires to the Catholic Bishop Valentine who performed secret marriages. When Claudius found out, he had Valentine arrested and ordered put to death. While in jail waiting for his execution, Valentine began exchanging letters with the jailer’s daughter and soon had fallen in love with her. The day he was to be beheaded, he wrote her one last note and signed it: From Your Valentine. Bishop Valentine was executed for his “crimes” on February 14th.
The 14th of February has been set apart as the special day to remember St. Valentine. This was one day before the Roman Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan love festival. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia from the 15th to the 14th to try and stop the pagan festival. The church realized that there was nothing wrong with celebrating love, only the pagan elements were wrong. And so Valentine had become known as the patron of love.
The tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards likely originated in 1415 when Charles, duke of Orleans, sent several rhymed love letters to his wife in France while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. In 1537, St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday by England’s King Henry VIII. Over the years, people began to send Valentine’s Day love letters using poems copied from booklets of verse. The first commercial valentine appeared in the early 1800s.
Other trivias and romantic fun facts:
The first American publisher of valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland. In the 1870s, her elaborate lace cards were purchased by the wealthy, as they cost a minimum of 5 dollars with some selling for as much as 35 dollars.
The first photograph of a U.S. President (President James Polk) was taken on February 14, 1849 by Matthew Brady in New York City.
In USA two cities was named after St. Valentine in honor of the patron saint of lovers- Valentine, Nebraska and Valentine, Texas.
Approximately one billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually. One-fourth of Valentine’s Day cards are humorous.
More than half of shoppers spend more than $3 for a Valentine’s Day card. Gifts accompany one-third of all Valentine cards.
Sweethearts are last on the list when it comes to receiving Valentine’s Day cards. Teachers are first, children come next, followed by mothers, wives and sweethearts.
Candy comes in second next to cards in popularity for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is the favorite. Men prefer to give or receive dark chocolate. Women favor milk chocolate.
Around three percent of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their companion animals.
Valentine’s Day ranks No. 1 among holidays when it comes to fresh flower purchases. Men buy Valentine’s Day flowers for romantic reasons in contrast to women who purchase flowers for their mothers, daughters and friends, as well as sweethearts just to say they care. 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period. And 15% of American women will send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
That’s it I hope you enjoyed these trivia that surrounds the International Sweethearts Day.
Advance happy heart’s day!