Inside: Find 36 fun facts about Valentine’s Day.
Do you think that Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year? Or do you simply consider it to be a great time to score some half-price chocolate? Whatever you think of this yearly holiday, you’ll get a kick out of some of these fun facts about Valentine’s Day!
36 Fun and Fascinating Facts About Valentine’s Day
(NOTE – The origination of Valentine’s Day – particularly the story of Saint Valentine – is rather debatable and there are several stories about people purported to be the TRUE Saint Valentine. So, I shared the “facts” about my favorite of these.)
1. The official name for Valentine’s Day is actually Saint Valentine’s Day, named after the Bishop who became Saint Valentinus – according to legend.
2. It is said that Saint Valentinus believed in love so much, he went to prison for performing wedding ceremonies for soldiers who weren’t allowed to marry.
3. Saint Valentinus was executed for his “crime” and was buried on February 14th.
4. Approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year in the United States.
5. The tradition of sending Valentine’s started from the letter Saint Valentinus wrote to Julia, the daughter of his jailer, which he signed ‘From Your Valentine’.
6. Valentine’s Day is the second most popular day (after Christmas) for sending cards to the people we love.
7. Around 85% of Valentine’s Day cards purchased are bought by women.
8. Around 1000 Valentine’s Day cards are sent to the city of Verona, Italy each year – addressed to Juliet – from Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.
9. However, the only works in which Shakespeare mentioned Valentine’s Day were ‘Hamlet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
10. After Saint Valentinus’ died, Julia (the jailor’s daughter) planted an almond tree with pink blossoms near his grave.
11. Today, almond trees are considered a symbol of friendship or love that lasts forever.
12. In Finland, Valentine’s Day is less about romance and more about celebrating friendship.
14. Flowers are one of the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day.
15. Over 195 million roses are given on Valentine’s Day throughout the world, and most of them are red.
16. The red rose was said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the goddess of love in Roman mythology. Venus had a son. His name was Cupid.
17. Cupid became known as the god of affection, desire, and erotic love. When people are attracted to each other, it is said that they have been “shot by Cupid’s arrow.”
18. Doves are a symbol of romantic love for a couple of reasons. For one, they were sacred to Venus. For another, the beautiful white birds are known for choosing their mates for life. Sounds pretty romantic to me!
19. The first official Valentine’s Day was in 1537 after King Henry the Eighth declared February 14th as a holiday. Sounds like King Henry the Eighth really believed in love.
20. King Henry the Eighth was married six times. He had two of his wives killed and divorced two others.
21. When celebrating Valentine’s Day in the middle ages, young people would pull hearts from a bowl and inside would be the name of their Valentine, which they would wear on their sleeves for a week. They literally “wore their heart on their sleeve.”
22. Candy is one of the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day, and most of it is either shaped like a heart – or comes in a heart-shaped box.
23. Chocolate is the most popular candy gifted on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps this comes from the long tradition of physicians recommending chocolate to help calm sadness over lost love.
24. Over 40 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day each year.
25. The first candy box made for Valentine’s Day was created in the late 19th century by Richard Cadbury.
26. Richard Cadbury was the son of John Cadbury, who founded Cadbury Chocolates.
27. As popular as Valentine’s Day is, there are also many people who dislike it. For singles who don’t enjoy the day, there is always Singles Awareness Day. Unfortunately, that makes the acronym SAD.
28. SAD or not, surveys have shown that 3 out of 10 Americans avoid Valentine’s Day celebrations. (Although, I bet that a fair number of them are still happy to take advantage of those “after Valentine’s Day candy sales!)
29. Around 20% of women in the United States send themselves flowers or buy themselves chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
30. Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards each year, followed by students, and moms.
31. There is an average of 240,000 wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year. Not sure if that’s romantic – or simply unoriginal.
32. Two popular decorations found on boxes of Valentine’s Day candy are ribbons and lace. Ribbons were historically given to knights for luck by the women who loved them. And lace is a symbol of the desire to “net or snare” someone’s heart – after the French word ‘laques’.
33. Not everyone knows this, but colorful Valentine Heart candies are actually Necco Wafers in disguise. Fifteen years after the popular wafers were created, the inventors found a way to press them into the shape of hearts. The first “conversation” heart candies were sold in 1902 and today, they are still going strong. Sadly, production of Necco wafers ended in 2018.
34. Chocolate Caramels are the most popular types of Valentine’s Day candies, according to the National Confectioners Association. Chocolate covered nuts are the most popular after that, followed by chocolate-filled and then creme-filled.
35. It is said that a kiss given on Valentine’s Day will bring luck and love all year long.
36. It should be no surprise that popular brands report that condom sales increase by 20-30% in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!