As soon as Christmas and New Year have passed by, it seems as though you can’t take two steps anywhere without being slapped in the face by “romance” and Valentine’s Day fare. There are even couples out there (so I hear) that actually spend their time looking forward to February the 14th – a day when they can dote on their partner and show to the world just how much they love one another. However, despite its popularity, it seems that most people have simply accepted Valentines’ Day without a real understanding of what they’re actually celebrating.
If you take a step back in history, the most cited story in relation to Valentine’s Day relates to a young priest called Saint Valentinus, who performed marriage ceremonies in secret for the soldiers of Claudius II. The Emperor, at that point, had banned his soldiers from getting married in the belief that it would somehow distract them from fighting wars properly. Unfortunately, the romantic Saint Valentinus was hanged on the 14th of February 270 AD. And since then we’ve been celebrating that day – as morbid as it might be.
In an effort to learn more about Valentine’s Day, I’ve been searching for some of the lesser known truths about this particular holiday, and I’m going to share a few with you.
1. You didn’t Pick Your Own Valentine
In medieval times, when people celebrated Valentine’s Day, they did it far differently than we do today. Girls ate a number of bizarre foods in the hope that they would conjure their future spouse into their dreams. Furthermore, the names of young men and women were drawn out of a bowl to decide who would be the Valentine for who. Unfortunately, if you weren’t happy with your random choice, the embarrassment didn’t only last for a day. Instead, you had to pin the name of your valentine to your sleeve for a full week, which is where the “wear your heart on your sleeve” expression came from.
2. The First Box of Chocolates was created for Valentine’s Day
The very first box of chocolates in the world was introduced in the late 1800s, by Richard Cadbury, for Valentine’s Day. Now, every year, more than thirty-five million boxes of heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold particularly for this day. $1 billion worth of chocolate boxes are purchased in a single day in the United States alone.
3. Some People Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Their Pets
Three percent of the pet-owning population, which equates to around nine million people, choose to celebrate their Valentine’s Day with their furry pal, rather than a significant other. I don’t just mean curling up with a chick flick and your cat while you lament everyone else’s relationship. These people actually buy gifts for their pets as part of the special day. Apparently, the reason for this is that pet owners believe that animals are for more loyal and grateful than humans.
4. The Color of Rose Matters
People have been giving out roses on Valentine’s Day for centuries, however most people aren’t aware that the color of flower they choose actually has its own specific meaning. For example, red represents respect and love, whereas pink signifies sweet thoughts, and white suggests purity. Similarly, the number of roses you give has a meaning too. For example, one stands for love at first sight, whereas 12 says “I love you”, and 999 means “we’ll always be together”, and also the bank account is tapped, because I spent all our money on roses.