Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14 February each year and before you rush out to get your loved one a gift, here are some facts about this day of romance.
The day of love is synonymous with red roses, chocolate boxes, love letters and Valentine cards. Meanwhile, many lovers and singles do not believe in celebrating this day and consider it an exhibit of love that can be done at any time of the year. But love it or hate it, you simply cannot ignore Valentine’s Day.
Moreover, this makes us wonder how this day came into being and became so popular among many and what is it about the day that makes people fall in love even more?
From knowing the origin of the age-old celebration to unique traditions and the significance of the number of roses gifted, some of these lesser-known trivia about Valentine’s Day might surprise you.
Here are some fascinating Valentine’s Day facts you might not know
Valentine’s Day origin
There are two theories when it comes to the origin of Valentine’s Day.
Historians believe that Valentine’s Day was derived from Lupercalia, a Roman fertility festival. The occasion was celebrated in a unique way, which is also termed as “sexual play”, with young, unwed women to increase their fertility.
The other theory says that it is also believed that Emperor Claudius II, a Roman emperor, didn’t allow couples to marry during wartime. But Saint Valentine was against this and performed secret weddings. As a result, he was imprisoned and executed for his actions.
Before his death, he sent a letter to his lover, the jailer’s daughter, and signed it off as “From your Valentine”.
Since then, 14 February is celebrated as Saint Valentine’s Day, a day to mourn his death or burial.
And all this while we thought Valentine’s Day began on a sweet note.
Number of roses and their significance
Red roses are the favourite flowers of Venus, the Roman goddess, and the red bud represents strong romantic feelings.
So, it is no surprise why red roses are bought or sold the most, followed by chocolate and jewellery. As per data gathered by The Society of American Florists in 2018, about 250 million roses are produced in the US on a Valentine’s Day and .
According to the US’ National Retail Federation, Americans spent USD 21.8 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts for partners, pals and furry friends in 2021. More so, the maximum number of roses is imported to the US, on this romantic holiday.
In Singapore, the number of roses you buy determines how affluent you are. Interestingly, there is a significance to the number of roses you give or receive on Valentine’s Day.
While receiving one stalk signifies quick love, giving two or 15 means an apology. If you get 12 stalks, the person wants you or wants to get married to you.
If you are lucky enough to get 50 stalks or more, then your romantic love controls you completely or is extremely rich.
No wonder roses are the most popular flowers given on Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day chocolate box
Chocolates are sold in massive amounts as Valentine’s Day gifts. Ever wondered who began this tradition?
The first box of heart-shaped chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.
Richard hailed from a family that made chocolates. So, he used the special holiday to produce Valentine’s Day chocolates along with a variety of other products.
Aren’t we all grateful to him for that? Almost 36 million boxes of the richest, creamiest, and sweetest chocolates are sold today, which amounts to roughly 58 million pounds of chocolate sales.
South Korea, the land of love
In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is celebrated over three days, each from one month starting February.
On 14 February, women give chocolates to men. Then on 14 March, women receive candies from men and finally, on 14 April, the singles eat black noodles.
Much before Tinder
In the Middle Ages, when dating apps like Tinder didn’t exist, youngsters looking for love drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be.
What we found amusing was that ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’ was indeed taken literally.
These young men and women would pin the name they found on their sleeves for a week. This was done so that everyone, including the special someone, could see how they feel wearing the name tag, which would show their true feelings.
According to a report by the National Confectioners Association, almost 86 percent of Americans gifted chocolate and candy on Valentine’s Day in 2021.
Candy hearts were first introduced as medical lozenges by Boston pharmacist Oliver Chase in 1847. He made the first candy-making machine back then.
After identifying the potential in the candy business, he shifted his focus to producing candies with Necco wafers.
The candies that come in boxes contain different labels such as “True Love,” “Hug Me” and “You Rock”. Interestingly, about 10 new labels are added each year.
You can also personalise these labels to gift the first valentine’s day box to your loved one. May we also suggest adding a love letter or a Valentine’s Day card that expresses your true feelings?
Valentine’s Day celebrations across the globe
We did some digging and found some more interesting Valentine’s Day-related facts for you.
Valentine is the name of a town in Texas, USA, that got its name from saint Valentine.
To boost chocolate consumption in the country, Ghana declared 14 February as its National Chocolate Day.
In the Philippines, 14 February seems to be the most common wedding anniversary date because there has been a rise in marriages over the past decade.
Some Nordic countries, such as Finland, celebrate it as the Day of Friends or Friendship’s Day. Cards and gifts are exchanged with lovers, family members and friends.
On this day in Japan, women take the lead and buy chocolates and gifts for their beloved. The sweethearts return the favour on 14 March, which is marked as White Day.
(Main and Featured Image Credit:Helena Lopes/ Pexels)