Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, holiday. (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.
Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts hold that it was St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop a or whom the holiday was named, though it is possible the two saints were actually one person. Another common legend states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love.
From the simple beginnings to what we celebrate today as a day of LOVE and appreciation, many folks, including children, women, men, and yes even signs of appreciation and affection to our animals has been a common practice for as long as we can remember.
Yet there are some things that you might find interesting. Below are 7 things you may or may not have known about this holiday celebrated by so many. This just might give you some conversation points to impress your loved one over a celebratory dinner on the town...
7 Valentine’s Day Fun Facts:
- Every year, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across the country.
- In 2020 it's estimated that men, will be spending twice as much as women this year on gifts. The average man typically spends an average of $130 on Valentine's Day while women spend about $70 on the average.
- Every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift.
- February 14th is the second-largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas. This year, it’s expected that 1 billion cards will be exchanged around the world.
- Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by kids, mothers, wives, and girlfriends.
- Hallmark was one of the first to mass-produce a Valentine’s Day card, all the way back in 1913.
- More than one-third of men are comfortable not receiving anything from a lover on Valentine’s Day.
A Sign of Good Luck.
For years before the exchanging of flowers at a wedding from husband to wife was a sign of good luck. What better way to begin a union of two with a floral bouquet made fresh from some of the most beautiful flowers adored by your loved one. The great thing about flowers in and of themselves is that they are universal for the giver and the receiver. By the way, in the U.S. alone the floral business rakes in an estimated 3.3 billion dollars annually.
So What About Chocolate?
Chocolate is considered aphrodisiac food since the time of Aztecs. Chocolate is said to contain a substance that inflames desire and makes the beloved one more open to romance. In the olden days, this resulted in the tradition in European royalty to give their lovers chocolates mixed with amber to stimulate their love.
It was a highly-prized luxury item among Mayan and Aztec upper-class elites, who were known to savor a drink that combined roasted cacao beans with cornmeal, vanilla, honey, and chilies. Cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers.
Later, Richard Cadbury, whose British family manufactured chocolate, was searching for a way to use the pure cocoa butter that was extracted from the process Cadbury had invented to make more palatable drinking chocolate. His solution was “eating chocolates,” which he packaged in lovely boxes he designed himself. A marketing genius, Cadbury began putting the Cupids and rosebuds on heart-shaped boxes in 1861: even when the chocolates had been eaten, people could use the beautiful boxes to save such mementos as love letters.
From there many others entered the Chocolate Society of engineers and craftspeople like Russell Stover, Milton Hershey, Clara Stover, and Whitmans.
Flowers, Candy and what Else?
Over the years the traditional gifts have been plenty and certainly, our share of flowers has adorned our kitchen tables, office cubes, and bedrooms across this land. Chocolates, heart-shaped, and powdery confectionaries have found their way into our hearts and furthermore our waistlines. So what's a person to do in thinking creatively this year in providing something special for the special person who will be the recipient of this admiration?
Think out of the candy box and floral container this year. Some have considered these possible items to spark a little creative twist on the traditional expected norms.
- Professional Massage
- Favorite Album on Vinyl
- Custom Artwork
- Tickets to a Game or Concert
- Plants-yes greenery tops a list of a top 7 in some circles
- The beer they love-with the popularity of craft beer producers in the US, and IPA might just do the trick.
Valentine's Day is the time for anyone who has any level of infatuation, admiration or deep-rooted sense of unity with the soulmate of choice to celebrate exactly that. All in all, a day that we share a common bond and thread of connectivity to the heart of others.
Whether or not Cupid was involved, Cadbury or FTD, you can certainly find some interesting ways to show someone who you are connected to or even want to thank for their kindness throughout the year, some creative ways to show your appreciation, and Love.
As always, allow your heart to make these decisions for you. You will never go wrong!
May you love the one your with and may your love shine for others to see and emulate. Remember to also allow yourself to LOVE YOURSELF, one of the most POWERFUL Loves there is in the universe!
Happy Valentine's Day
* Sources: Smithsonian Magazine: How Chocolate and Valentine’s Day Mated for Life. EliteDaily: 7 Valentine's Day Gifts Besides Flowers. Britanica.com:Valentine's Day Definition