Valentine’s Day Fun Facts!!

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It’s a day for romance!

Did you know:

 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.

About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

 Cupid, another symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.

During the late 1800s, postage rates around the world dropped, and the obscene St. Valentine’s Day card became popular, despite the Victorian era being otherwise very prudish. As the numbers of racy valentines grew, several countries banned the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Days cards. During this period, Chicago’s post office rejected more than 25,000 cards on the grounds that they were so indecent, they were not fit to be carried through the U.S. mail.

During the Middle Ages, the belief that birds chose their mates on St. Valentine’s Day led to the idea that boys and girls would do the same. Up through the early 1900s, the Ozark hill people in the eastern United States thought that birds and rabbits started mating on February 14, a day for them which was not only Valentine’s Day but Groundhog Day as well.

Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.

Humorous valentines of the 19th century were called “Vinegar Valentines” or “Penny Dreadfuls.” Vinegar Valentines were introduced in 1858 by John McLaughin, a Scotsman with a New York City Publishing Business. Penny Dreadfuls with comic designs drawn in 1870 by American cartoonists Charles Howard became known as Penny Dreadfuls.

In 1929 in Chicago, gunmen in the suspected employment of organized-crime boss Al Capone murder seven members of the George “Bugs” Moran North Siders gang in a garage on North Clark Street. The so-called St. Valentine’s Day Massacre stirred a media storm centered on Capone and his illegal Prohibition-era activities and motivated federal authorities to redouble their efforts to find evidence incriminating enough to take him off the streets.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.

In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”

It wasn’t until 1537 that St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday. England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday.

One single perfect red rose framed with baby’s breath is referred to by some florists as a “signature rose,” and is the preferred choice for many for giving on Valentine’s Day, anniversary, or birthday.

Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.

 The 17th century a hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine’s eve. It was believed this would make her dream of her future husband.

The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses on February 14. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.

The Empire State Building in New York City played a prominent role in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. This year 15 couples will take (or renew) their vows on the 80th floor of this famous landmark.

The heart is the most common symbol of romantic love. Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. Others thought it to be the source of emotion and intelligence. Some believed the heart embodied a man’s truth, strength and nobility. The heart may be associated with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the target of Eros, known as Cupid to the Romans. Anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is so closely linked to love, it’s red colour is thought to be the most romantic.

The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife, who died in childbirth. Work on the Taj began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years. required the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.

The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England.

The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red stands for strong feelings which is why a red rose is a flower of love.

Wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart.

In America, the pilgrims sent confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their betrothed. Great value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare commodity, sugar. After the late 1800’s, beet sugar became widely used and more available, and sweet gifts continued to be valued and enjoyed.

What was your favorite Valentine to give or receive?  (Mine was a homemade video from dear hubby to the tune, “You are so beautiful to me”)  

images-loving-couple.jpgTomorrow’s Blog with Charlene: Romancing the Classic Movies and win a chance for an autographed book!

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Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She's a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heartstopping "real good men" heroes! She's the recepient of the National Readers' Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award and the Cataromance Reviwer's Choice Award. When not writing, she spends time with her "hero" husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappucinos!

Charlene loves to hear from her readers.
Drop her a line at www.charlenesands.com or write her at PO. Box 4883, West Hills, CA 91308
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16 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Fun Facts!!”

  1. I would have to say that one of my favorite Valentine’s from my hubby was a musical card that played My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White. He knows how much I love that song and when I opened it and it started playing, I burst into tears.

    It was the perfect expression of his love for me, because at the time I didn’t realize he knew me so well and that meant the world. Flowers and candy and jewelry are nice, but something THAT heartfelt shot the arrow right through my heart all over again.

  2. “Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
    Not true. It’s been celebrated also in Finland for some years now, only around here it’s called “Friend’s Day” for some reason, so it has a bit different meaning around here. And I think they celebrate it in Japan, too, but again, probably not quite the way you do.

  3. My family has a few very, very old valentines stored away somewhere from my parent’s childhood homes. I know when we saw them we had some idea they’d be valuable but you know what? My family has a knack for only saving stuff that goes down, down, down in value. Wonder why that is?

  4. What great Valentine’s Day facts, Charlene! I loved hearing about the medieval and Victorian traditions. It’s interesting to see how the day has evolved.

    My favorite Valentines are the ones my kids have made for me. My daughter cut out a brown heart all by herself last night and she was so proud to present it to me. It’s already on the fridge!

  5. My daughter called during a break at work and we were talking Valentine’s Day stuff and she’d ask a question and I’d consult Charlene’s post and know all the answers.

    Her first comment, “Wow, great day for a massacre.”

    Happy Valentine’s Day, huh?

  6. Taryn – What a nice surprise gift. Those unexpected little prizes of love mean soo much more.

    This morning my dh picked roses from our garden, cut the stems and filled the rose tops in a small clear bowl. It looks like a $$$ flower shop gift, but this one came from the heart, with a homemade card too. Small wonder that we love and write romance!

  7. Minna- oh how interesting that they call it “friends day” in Finland. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure other countries have a “type” of sweethearts day. I found that particular fact to be quite incredible.

  8. Charlene, you put some interesting Valentine’s Day facts into this blog! Seems people have celebrated love for a long time. Like Cheryl said, I’d love to have seen the first Valentine cards. And the racy ones probably showed an ankle or something. lol Racy today has a lot more meaning to it. Ask Brittney.

    My husband wasn’t a romantic but he always bought me a box of candy because he knew I’m a chocoholic. It was definitely the way into my heart!

  9. Wow, lots of facts. My poor pets aren’t part of the 3%. I mean, it’s not like you can give them flowers or chocolate lol. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  10. Linda – I’m smiling as you say that about showing their ankles on those racy cards!

    Estella – those homemade cards from our children are sooo precious.

    Jeanne – My pets get an extra serving of food. 🙂 No flowers or chocolate for them!

  11. “Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
    Not true. Most of the developed and developing country also have celebrated. Some of the people on horsematch.com also discussed this topic and they get the similar results. What great Valentine’s Day ! Hope everyone can enjoy the day and happy every day!

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