Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day, as our generation knows it, is a day for celebrating love. Several dozens of roses, numerous boxes of chocolates and gifts are exchanged on February 14, across the globe. But do you know the history behind this holiday of the hearts?

Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine was not always related to red roses and heart-shaped chocolates; the legend is linked to martyrdoms of at least two saints named Valentine.One of the most accepted stories is associated with Saint Valentine of Rome who secretly performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. It is said that before his execution, he wrote a note to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had healed, and signed it Your Valentine.

In honor of today, here are some facts you may not know about Valentine’s Day:

  • In the late 400s, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as the day to remember and honor Saint Valentine.
  • In the 1300s, Saint Valentine’s Day became linked to love and romance, probably encouraged by the publication of Chaucer’s poem The Parliament of Fowls that ends with nature inspiring the fowls to pick their mates and welcome spring.
  • One of the oldest surviving Valentine’s Day greetings is from 1415, written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans, to his wife while in captivity
  • In the 1600s, Europeans took up the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Day greeting cards
  • In Finland, Valentine’s Day is more about remembering friends than loved ones
  • Of people buying flowers for Valentine’s Day, 70 percent are men and 30 percent are women
  • Women buy 85 percent of all Valentine’s Day gifts
  • The first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in the late 1800s
  • In the 1840s, the S. started mass production of V-day greeting cards
  • In Slovenia, St. Valentine is one of the saints of spring and Valentine’s Day is celebrated as the first day when work resumes on vineyards and fields.
  • Teachers receive the most valentines, followed by children, mothers, wives and significant others.
  • The first Hallmark Valentine’s Day greeting was printed in 1913

With newfound information on Valentine’s Day, we hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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