Things you probably didn't know about Valentine's Day

Did you know where the name Valentine’s Day comes from? Or why we send roses?

If not then don’t worry you are not alone. Here’s everything you need to know about the love-liest day of the year.

Its history is actually not that romantic
Historians believe Valentine’s Day actually originated in Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia. During the celebrations, the ancient priests would sacrifice a goat and then make their way around Rome, slapping women on the way with strips of the blood-soaked goat’s skin. So romantic!

valentines day

The day wasn't always this romantic. Photo: Getty

It didn’t officially become a holiday associated with love and romance until the 1300s
Historians believe the holiday was celebrated in mid-February because that’s when birds start their mating season, hence the reason doves are often associated with love.

Saint Valentine was more than one person
The most common ‘founder’ of Valentine’s Day was the Saint Valentine who defied Emperor Claudius II. In case you’re not versed in roman history, Claudius had banned marriage because he thought it distracted young soldiers.

Valentine, however, felt differently; secretly and illegally marrying couples until he was caught and sentenced to death on February 14. Allegedly.

Since then there have been multiple St. Valentine’s throughout history.

valentine's day gifts

The most popular gift isn't flowers. Photo: Youtube

The first Valentine’s Day card was sent in the 15th century
By the Duke of Orleans to his wife whilst he was a prisoner in the Tower of London.

In the UK, an average of 25 million cards are given on Valentine’s Day

That’s more than any other holiday, except Christmas. According to research women tend to buy approximately 85% of ALL the Valentine’s Day cards sold. What a surprise.

roses on vday

Why do we give roses? Photo: Getty

Why roses?
The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

It's not just for humans
Every year at least nine million people buy their pets a gift on Valentine’s Day.

The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was introduced in 1868
Today, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year. That’s a whopping 58 million pounds of chocolate.

chocolate gift

Lots of chocolate is consumed on Valentine's Day. Photo: Getty

There’s a reason everything is red
It was once believed that the heart was the part of the body that the feeling of love came from. As the heart pumped red blood around the body, the colour became synonymous with love.

The most popular gift isn’t flowers
It’s jewellery, with consumers spending £112m ($200m AUD) on precious gems in 2017. According to Mintel, the sparkly stuff pulled in more money than flowers, clothing, and cards.

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