The origin of Valentine's Day: While opinions may differ, the most widely held belief dates back to Roman times, in 270 A.D. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, believing that single men would make better soldiers. Bishop Valentine ignored this decree and performed secret wedding ceremonies to love-struck couples. When the emperor discovered this betrayal, he jailed Valentine, then executed him on February 14.
A second theory, which also dates back to Roman times, is that the day evolved from the Feast of Lupercalia, a Roman holiday held on Feb. 14 in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.
As time passed, different generations celebrated the holiday in different ways. *Medieval Times: Women ate different, strange foods on VDay, believing that it would cause them to dream of their future spouse. *Middle Ages: eligible suitors drew names from a hat to decide their Valentine. They would then pin the name to their sleeves for one week, in plain view for all to see. This is where the term "to wear your heart on your sleeve" originated. *By the 15th century, lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering candies, and sending hand-written love notes *19th century brought the mass-market card, also bringing the stigma of a 'Hallmark holiday'.
ROMANTIC GIFTS THAT WILL NEVER BE TOPPED: *Taj Mahal in India: It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife. *Orlov Diamond: 158 carats, was given by Count Orlvo to Queen Katherine the Great. Makes Beyonce's engagement ring seem paltry. *Taylor-Burton Diamond: 68 carats, given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton. It sold in 2011 for almost $11M.
Valentine's Day Statistics: -Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S. -Most popular VDay gifts: -Cards 52% -Candy 47% -Flowers 34% -Dining 34% -Jewelry 17% -Clothing 14% -Gift Cards 12% -Other 11% -Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day: 14% -Average number of children conceived on Valentine’s day: 11,000 -Percent of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day: 53 % -Average Annual Valentine's Day Spending: $13.19 Billion -Approx 3% of pet owners will give their pets a VDAY gift -Average number of wedding proposals on VDay each year: 220,000
More Fun Valentine's Day Facts: *The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The color red now stands for strong romantic feelings. *"The World's Greatest Lover" AKA Casanova ate chocolate to increase his virility. *In Medieval Times, people who couldn't write signed in front of a witness with an X. They then kissed the X to show their sincerity. Now an X stands for a kiss! *Richard Cadbury produced the 1st box of chocolates for VDay in the late 1800s. Today, more than 35M heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold on Feb 14th. *The Italian town of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day *64 percent of American men don't plan in advance for a romantic Valentine's Day