Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Love it or hate it, but it has been around for a long time and has etched it’s way into the mindset of society since the 19th Century. The day is observed and celebrated in many countries around the world.
Valentine’s Day has it’s origins way back in 270 AD. It was the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. This Emperor didn’t want men to marry during wartime. He believed that single men were better soldiers in the Roman army. Bishop Valentine went against the Emperor’s wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. He was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on February the 14th. It seems that many people who say that Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday are not aware of this. There are a lot of interesting facts about Valentine’s Day and today I’m featuring 12 of them. I trust you will find these facts interesting.
- According to legend it was St. Valentine himself who sent the first valentine. This was in the form of a letter to his jailer’s blind daughter. He had fallen in love with her.
- The Feast of Lupercalia was celebrated by the Romans on the 14th of February, in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.
- In Medieval times girls ate bizarre foods on Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
- A poem written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans to his wife is the world’s oldest surviving valentine. It was written in 1415. At the time he was being held in the Tower of London.
- England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day in 1537.
- The first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day was produced by Richard Cadbury in the late 1800’s. This industry has grown. Nowadays for than $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the United States alone.
- Red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings, yellow roses mean friendship and pink roses mean friendship or sweetheart. It’s estimated that over 110 million roses will be sold and delivered for Valentine’s Day around the world. The majority of these roses are red.
- Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona (where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived) receives +/-1000 letters addressed to Juliet.
- During the 2001 Valentine’s Day celebrations, 34 couples from 22 countries exchanged wedding vows. They did this while they were ten meters underwater near an island in Southern Thailand. They hold the Guinness World Record for the largest number of couples married simultaneously underwater.
- Valentine’s Day customs in Japan include women giving chocolates to their boyfriends, male friends and co-workers. Men return this favor on the 14th of March (known as White Day in Japan). They hand out white chocolates, lingerie and jewellery to their female friends and loved ones.
- Rumor has it that a kiss on Valentine’s Day brings good luck all year.
- The tradition of signing Valentine’s Day cards with an X (symbolizing a kiss) is said to have started in Medieval times, because many people couldn’t write their own names. They signed their name as an X in front of a witness. The X had to be kissed to show they were serious.
I’ve always been one of those people who refer to Valentine’s Day as “Single Reminder Day”, but knowing these facts I’m leaning towards changing my attitude towards this day. Valentine’s Day has a longer and richer history than I thought. If you’re looking for a movie to watch this Valentine’s Day, check out Warm Bodies, it looks like it might just be awesome.
You may want to check out Junk Mail’s Classifieds if you’re looking for Valentine’s Day gifts for your loved ones. You could also sell one of your unwanted gifts on Junk Mail and brighten up someone else’s Valentine’s Day, who knows?
If you have any interesting facts that you’d like to see on this list of facts, feel free to comment on this article. Feedback is appreciated and welcome on the Junk Mail blog.
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