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Valentine’s Day Fun Facts: Surprising Facts About Love and Romance

Love is in the air! Let’s talk about the most romantic day of the year, February 14th, a day that celebrates love and romance.

It’s a time when people express their love for one another exchange Valentine’s Day cards and Valentine’s Day gifts. Yay for Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine’s Day Facts

How many Valentine’s Day facts do you know about? Did you know that penicillin was discovered on Valentine’s Day? Or that the city of Verona in Italy receives thousands of letters addressed to a fictional character on Valentine’s Day, but who? In this blog post, we will explore the history of love and romance. Stay tuned for fun facts and Valentine’s Day traditions, from flowers to chocolates, to world-record kisses and more!

The origin of Valentine’s Day

How much do you know about this popular romantic holiday? There are two theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. Although both are fascinating Valentine’s Day facts, neither are particularly romantic!

The first belief is that Valentine’s Day started or stemmed from Lupercalia, a raucous Roman festival where men stripped naked and spanked young ladies in hopes they would become more fertile.

The second goes back to Emperor Claudius II. When bolstering his army, it was forbidden for young men to marry. Saint Valentine defied these laws and performed secret marriages. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14th around the year 270 A.D.

The Middle Ages. And the birds…no mention of the bees!

Valentine’s Day has a fascinating history that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was believed in France and England during this time period, that February 14th marked the date when birds began their mating season. What’s good for the goose!

It’s also from the Middle Ages we get the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve”. This comes from an old custom: a woman ties a favour to a man’s sleeve to signal their love for each other.

The first-ever Valentine’s letter was written from Prison.

French medieval duke, Charles of Orleans, wrote what is said to be the first recorded Valentine’s letter to his wife. It was sent in 1415 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, and it read: “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.”

The Valentine’s Day tradition of giving flowers

In the Victorian era, men began giving flowers to women they were wooing. The language of flowers known as Floriography was popular in Victorian times; specific meanings were attributed to different plants and flowers. Most flowers conveyed positive sentiments: friendship, fidelity, devotion and roses depicted love! And today, more than half of Valentine’s Day flower purchases are red roses. A dozen red roses!

Why a dozen red roses? 12 stems mean completeness because the number itself is associated with an entire year, the 12 hours of a day, and the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Valentine’s Day Gifts – chocolates! A stroke of marketing genius

How could Valentine’s Day be anything but a delicious, sweet experience? Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day chocolate and Richard Cadbury. Mr Cadbury packaged chocolates into beautiful heart-shaped boxes to drive sales, and it was a stroke of genius. Chocolate is now one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts.

The mass-produced Valentine’s Day card – also a stroke of marketing genius

As celebrating Valentine’s Day became more popular, people began sending out tiny letters of appreciation or love tokens. During the 1800s, preprinted valentines appeared in the form of an Esther A Howland. She was known for her elaborate crafty Valentine’s Day cards created using ribbon and lace. Her beautifully handcrafted greeting cards were sentimentally sweet and immediately hit the commercial markets.

How many Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year?

Approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s the most significant seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas and Mother’s Day.

A letter to Juliet

Every year on Valentine’s Day, the city of Verona in Italy receives thousands of letters addressed to Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. Volunteers respond to each letter and award the “Cara Giulietta” (“Dear Juliet”) prize to the author of the most romantic love letter!

Who is the number one recipient of a Valentine?

On Valentines Day, teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards! Closely followed by children, mothers, wives and pets. Yep, pets get into the top five 😉

What does mould have to do with Valentines Day?

A medical breakthrough occurred on Valentine’s Day. On February 14th, 1929, penicillin was discovered accidentally by Sir Alexander Fleming!

World record kisses on Valentines Day

Forget about the love letters… let’s talk about kissing. The world record for the most simultaneous kisses took place in Mexico City on Valentine’s Day in 2009. 39,897 couples, friends and families got together and kissed for 10 seconds.

For those who get engaged this Valentine’s many Congratulations! The first thing you need to do once that ring is on your finger is to enjoy watching it sparkle as you open Instagram find eeek! and hit ‘follow’.

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