Wednesday is St Valentine’s Day.
Did you know the day was to originally celebrate St Valentinus who used to perform weddings for soldiers who were not allowed to marry?
Below are 10 facts about Valentine’s day.
10 Facts about St Valentine’s Day
Customs and Traditions
Spring officially begins on St Valentine’s day which is meant to be the day the birds choose their mates.
Tradition states that the first man an unmarried woman saw on 14th Feb would be her future husband.
If a woman sees a robin flying above her head on 14th Feb is means she will marry a sailor.
Seeing a sparrow means marrying a poor man but would be very happy and if she sees a goldfinch she would marry a rich person.
So keep a good lookout above your head when out and about first thing on 14th Feb!
During the middle ages the single men and women would pick a name out from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They then had to wear these names on their sleeves for a week. This is how the saying wearing your heart on your sleeve originates from.
Why Chocolate is a typical gift
It is said that Casanova’s favourite dessert was chocolate – after all chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac.
There are over 35 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes sold annually.
Red roses are very popular as a Valentine’s day gift. Red is the colour for love and passion. Venus the Goddess of love prefered red roses above all other flowers.
Over 70% of people who purchase flowers on Valentine’s day are male and over 50 million roses are given each year on this day. What a time to be a florist!
Most florists will increase the cost of the flowers – mainly roses by approx 30% during the week leading up to Valentine’s day.
Over a billion cards are given on Valentines day and this means this is the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year (Christmas being the post popular)
Back as far as the MIddle Ages suitors would sing or recite a romantic verse to their loved one. The earliest valentine’s message was sent in 1477 which was a letter by Margery Brews to John Paston. However from 1500 written messages were starting to grow and took the form of a hand written note with a special verse or saying.
By the Victorian times cards and papers began to appear which were made especially for Valentine Greetings began to be marketed. As the postal rates were getting cheaper by 1840 the sending of cards starting to grow. The cards were very religious in nature and it is thought that the sacred heart had started to become the Valentine’s heart with the accompanying angel being referred to as Cupid. (Cupid is the son of Venus, the god of beauty and love).
By 19th century printed valentine cards started to appear to the masses due to the improvement of printing methods and thus the ready-made cards became mass-produced
At least 10% of all marriage proposals occur on 14th Feb even though over 85% of women believe that Valentine’s day is not the best day to propose!
Romeo and Juliet
We all think of Romeo and Juliet as the most famous romantic couple. Did you know that even now Juliet still receives love letters on Valentine’s day. Each year in the City of Verona in Italy (where Romeo and Juliet was set) she receives over 1000 letters addressed to her!
Henry VIII decided when Valentine’s day should be celebrated
Henry VIII clearly loved women after all he married 6 times. During 1537 King Henry VIII declared by Royal Charter than Valentine’s day would become a public holiday and 14th February was chosen as the official day of celebration.
Be careful on 14th Feb. There is a very large increase in the sales of pregnancy tests during the month of March – for obvious reasons. So take care!!!
Why does an X symbolise a kiss
People in medieval times who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an X which they then kissed to show their sincerity.
What about the singles
Valentine’s Day has also been referred to as Singles Awareness Day in many countries. China celebrates this day on Nov 11 and singles in China are known for treating themselves to some on-line shopping (as if anyone needs an excuse to shop!). This date Nov 11 is often referred to a China’s Black Friday
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s day regardless if you have found or still searching for Mr or Ms Right.