11 Surprising Valentine’s Day Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know

Valentine’s day is upon us again, a season of love, chocolates, roses, and gift sharing.

While everybody knows the day, Feb 14, is about love, not many know about the tradition of the day and how it came to be.

In this article, we would share 11 surprisingly unknown facts about Valentine’s Day.

1. St. Valentine wasn’t associated with one person.

While it is widely assumed that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in honor of its patron saint, St Valentine, it is possible that the holiday is based on the union of two men.

According to History.com, at least two men named Valentine may have inspired the holiday, one of whom was a priest in third-century Rome. According to legend, this Valentine defied Emperor Claudius II’s marriage ban (he believed it distracted young soldiers), illegally marrying couples in the spirit of love until he was apprehended and sentenced to death.

Another legend holds that Valentine was assassinated for attempting to help Christians escape from Rome’s prisons and that he actually sent the first “valentine” message while imprisoned, writing a letter to his wife.

2. Valentine’s Day officially became a day associated with love in 1300.

The date of February 14 was officially declared “St. Valentine’s Day” by Roman Pope Gelasius at the end of the fifth century. However, it was not until the Middle Ages that the holiday became associated with love and romance, a tradition that began with the common belief in France and England that birds began their mating season on February 14.

ALSO READ: Single On Valentine’s Day? Show Some Love To Yourself With These 7 Gift Ideas

3. The tradition of giving Valentine’s Day flowers dates back to the 17th century.

Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day is associated with the giving of roses, offering flowers didn’t become a common tradition until the late 17th century. In truth, the tradition dates back to King Charles II of Sweden, who brought it to Europe after learning the “language of flowers” on a visit to Persia, which couples various flowers with distinct meanings. Giving flowers then developed into a widespread custom throughout the Victorian era, notably on Valentine’s Day, with red roses signifying intense love.

4. In Japan, women do most of the gifting on Valentine’s Day.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day was first celebrated in 1936 and has since gained enormous popularity. On February 14, however, only women purchase chocolate and gifts for their sweethearts due to a translation error made by a chocolate manufacturer.

5. The first Valentine’s Day chocolates were introduced in 1868.

Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, began packaging chocolates in fancy boxes to increase sales. In 1861, he introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and today, more than 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold each year.

6. Valentine’s Day is an ideal day to get engaged.

What better day to get engaged than a day of love and romance?

A 2017 study by diamond retailer James Allen found that 43% of millennials chose Valentine’s Day as their ideal day to propose or accept a proposal.

According to a survey, Valentine’s Day is one of the popular days to pop the question, with as many as 6 million couples getting engaged on February 14.

7. There is an official Valentine’s Day alternative for singles

International Quirky Alone Day is a holiday for single people on the same date (Feb 14). The holiday isn’t an anti-Valentine’s Day event, but rather a moment to celebrate self-love and platonic relationships. International Quirkyalone Day has been celebrated globally since 2003.

8. A king from Sweden started the tradition of sending flowers.

Wonder who came up with the idea of sending flowers? The tradition was brought back to Europe by King Charles II of Sweden after a trip to Persia in the early 1700s, with the idea of sending flowers as a non-verbal message.

9. Esther Howland is the first manufacturer of Valentine’s day cards.

 Popularly known as the “Mother of the American Valentine,” Esther Howland is known for manufacturing and commercializing Valentine’s Day cards.

Her inspiration came from the thoughtful and sweet greeting cards that were circulating in England, and she decided to sell similar designs in the U.S. starting in the 1870s. Needless to say, they took off.

10. For Ghana, the day is all about chocolate.

While the whole world celebrates love on Feb 14, Ghana marks National Chocolate Day on the same day in a bid to boost the domestic consumption of Ghanaian chocolate and other cocoa-based products.

11. The first ever valentine was sent in the 15th century.

According to History.com, the first recorded valentine was a poem written by a French medieval duke named Charles to his wife in 1415. Charles wrote this sweet note to his lover while imprisoned in the Tower of London at the age of 21. “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine,” one of the poem’s lines says.



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