So it’s that time of the year again… Valentine’s Day. This hallmark holiday has been modified throughout the years and has turned into a consumer’s dream. Each year on February 14th, countless people exchange gifts for their special “Valentine”. This day is known as the day of romance which allows people to take the time to show those we love how much they mean to us – something we should be doing every day. With thousands of cards, teddy bears and presents to choose from, there are many things many people don’t know about this beloved holiday. Few celebrators of this holiday actually know where Valentine’s Day comes from, how many cards are sold and why it’s customary to give certain gifts to your loved one. Some countries and religions have even banned the holiday altogether. Did you know that every color rose means something else, or that the number of roses you give your loved one symbolize different things? This article is filled with interesting and informative facts that will expand your knowledge on this love-fest of a holiday.
Some believe Valentine’s Day to be the best day of the year while others see it as being the worst. However, V-Day is not the only holiday celebrated on this day; it’s also Single Awareness Day! For those single readers, there are plenty of things to do on this day, even if you’re not in a relationship. Go to a party, have a dinner with your single girls/guys or even hang out with a single friend. Valentine’s Day is just about love, it does not have to be about romance. Spend time with someone you love and make sure you let them know. Today is the day to get into the mood for love by educating yourself with some fun facts about the celebration itself. For those of you going on dates tonight, these facts are great to bring up incase there is an awkward silence at dinner.
10. The Saddest Day of the Year
Many of us see Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love. However, for the lonely ones, it is one of the hardest days of the year. This day can bring up negative feelings for many such as depression and loneliness. For suicide hotlines, February 14th is the busiest night of the year. Many who suffer from a broken heart find it hard to come into work on Valentine’s Day. With flowers being sent to the cubicles all around you, it’s difficult not to wonder why you are alone. For most singles, it doesn’t bother them that much, but to someone who already suffers from depression, this can be enough to put them over the edge. As humans, we want to be loved and wanted and it can be tough to handle when you are not feeling either of those things.
9. Valentine’s Day’s Origin
There are many theories surrounding Valentine’s Day and its origin. However, the most popular of those theories is that Emperor Claudius II did not want Roman men to marry during the wartime. Bishop Valentine, a hopeless romantic, was strongly against this. In secret, Bishop Valentine performed wedding ceremonies, creating secret unions between man and wife. Emperor Claudius II was so infuriated with Bishop Valentine that he placed him in jail and eventually executed him. Valentine was in love with a woman, whom he would send letters to while in prison. Before to his death, he signed the letters he wrote “From your Valentine,” hence the tradition we have today.
8. The Influence of the Card Industry
Hallmark created the first Valentine’s Day card back in 1913 and currently the company creates over 1,330 different cards for the holiday. Approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year (after Christmas, of course). Women purchase approximately 85% of all Valentines; you would think it was the other way around! More than 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased six days prior to the holiday. Surprisingly, the people who receive the most Valentine’s Day cards are teachers. I guess there are a lot of teacher’s pets out there!
7. The Reason For Giving Chocolate
Casanova, known as “The World’s Greatest Lover,” is claimed to have eaten chocolate to make him virile. Physicians in the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm and mend a broken heart, which, in my unprofessional opinion, is something physicians should still do. Richard Cadbury was the first to produce a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates in the late 1800s, and since then more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate have been sold annually. One billion dollars’ worth of chocolate is purchased in the United States alone, making Valentine’s Day yet another holiday that is almost specifically designed to make us fat.
6. Cupid’s Role in V-Day
In Roman mythology, Cupid is known as the son of Venus, the Goddess of love. In Greek mythology, Cupid is known as Eros and his mother is Aphrodite. Cupid was commonly depicted as a mischievous child with wings. His arrows would pierce through the hearts of his victims, making them fall in love. The significance of Cupid shooting his arrows is that love is similar to a spell. Cupid being blindfolded symbolizes that true love is blind. However, this mythological character has no relation to the life of Saint Valentine, and is used purely for the sake of symbolism around the holiday.
5. Not All Valentines Are Chosen
In today’s society, receiving a Valentine card means that someone has a crush on you. However, if you go back to the Middle Ages, the situation was a little different. Back in the day, young men and women drew names from a bowl to decide who their Valentine would be. The single women’s names would be added into an urn and single men of the town would take a name out of the urn and pin it to their sleeves for an entire week. This would allow everyone in the town to see who their Valentine was. The expression “wearing your heart on your sleeve” is said to have originated from this medieval tradition.
4. The Stats on Flowers
One of the other popular Valentine’s Day traditions is buying your significant other flowers. 73% of people who buy flowers are men while only 27% are women. Many women desperately want to feel wanted on this romantic day and 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day…that’s a bit desperate, ladies.
Roses are the most popular floral arrangement for Valentine’s Day. The red rose was Venus, the Roman Goddess of love’s favorite flower. They are also considered the flowers of love also because the color red signifies romance. Each different colored rose signifies different emotions. Florists know Valentine’s Day as the busiest day of the year. It is also the most expensive day to buy flowers, as prices are raised because of the increase in demand.
3. Different Colored Roses Mean Different Things
Okay, so we know that red means love, but every other rose color means something else. Pink is innocent, it says “thinking of you” or “I like you,” less of a commitment than the red roses. White roses symbolize purity and send a message of worthiness. Darker roses symbolize death, which is not ideal to give your loved one on Valentine’s Day. The number of roses you give also has symbolism. A single rose means love at first sight, perfect to give to the one you have been admiring. The most popular amount is a dozen, which simply means “I love you.” When proposing on Valentine’s Day, 108 is the recommended number of roses. Giving 999 roses is an extreme way of telling your love that you want to be with them forever.
2. Iran is Not a Fan
Iran has been facing a slew of problems in the past few years. This once harmonious country has been ruled by an iron fist. In 2011, Iran actually banned Valentine’s Day and everything it entails: cards, gifts, teddy bears and any other Valentine-related tokens. This was done as part of an Islamic republic reaction against western society. The goal is to stop the spread of western culture; the holidays, the food, the style, everything.
Also, some religious activists in both India and Pakistan protest this holiday because they view it as a day of shame and not love. They see it in a more sexualized manner, viewing it not about the love, but as another reason for westerners to fulfil their sexual desires.
1. Girls Will Be Girls
Girls have clearly always been a bit crazy when it comes to love. In England during the 1700s, girls would pin four bay leaves to their pillow in addition to eating a full hard-boiled egg (including the shell) on the night before Valentine’s Day. Legend has it that if you would dream of a boy that night, the two of you would soon wed. Another wacky thing girls used to do was write down the names of boys on small pieces of paper. After the names were written, they would cover them with clay and drop the papers into the water. Once the clay would break, the paper would float up to the top. The first name to appear would apparently be the name of the boy the girl would marry. In a nutshell, girls are crazy especially when it comes to love, and the ladies in the 1700s were no exception.