Valentine’s Day isn’t just a made up holiday for candy and card companies to shovel in the money; there’s some history and meaning to it. Check out these fun facts you may not know:
Saint Valentine’s legend
The name of the holiday honors several saints named Valentine from the past, but there is one whose story is most commonly told. Saint Valentine of Terni was a priest who was put in jail and executed on February 14th, 269 AD. However, while he was in prison, he healed the daughter of the jailer and fell in love with her. Before his death, he wrote a letter to her that concluded with, “from your Valentine.” Now we call little cards/notes valentines and hand them out to loved ones on February 14th.
Cupid is more than a Valentine’s Day symbol
Cupid is a popular symbol used for Valentine’s Day. He was the god of desire or love in Roman mythology. His mother was Venus, the goddess of love, beauty, or fertility. Fun fact: red roses were her favorite type of flowers. They believed that Cupid would use his bow and arrows to mess with people’s emotions. If he shot someone, they supposedly fell wildly in love with the first person they saw.
The ancient Roman tradition
On this day in ancient Rome, men would whip women with strips of animal hide from sacrificed dogs and goats. Women lined up for this and thought it would make them more fertile.
Valentine’s Day is a global celebration
People in the United Kingdom started the tradition of sending cards, flowers, chocolate, and such on Valentine’s Day. Various other countries around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day now; it’s never been exclusively an American holiday.
Valentine’s Day is the second-most popular occasion to send a card
Out of all the holidays in America except for Christmas, people send the most cards on Valentine’s Day. Roughly 85% of valentines are bought by females. Perhaps it’s more common for women to exchange them with their friends, or men don’t care about them as much. Most valentines I have seen do appear to be geared toward children and females, so that makes sense.
Who spends more money?
Men spend double the money that women spend for Valentine’s Day on average. It makes sense, when you think about all the money men spend on chocolate, flowers, and Valentine’s Day dates.
Valentine’s Day in the Middle Ages
Some people in the Middle Ages thought if you were single on Valentine’s Day, you should marry the first opposite-gendered single person you encountered that day. I don’t think that tradition lasted long, if it ever was true.
Doctor knows best
If people in the 1800’s felt depressed or heartbroken because of someone, the doctor’s prescription was chocolate! ‘Nuff said.
How much Americans spend on Valentine’s Day
People in America spend more than a billion dollars on chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
You can’t forget your furry friends
Millions of people around the world buy a Valentine’s Day gift for their pet. Who needs a girlfriend or boyfriend when you have pure, true, faithful puppy love anyways? They deserve treats more than most people out there, and they won’t be upset if it’s the wrong color!