1. The most popular theory behind the origins of Valentine’s Day dates back to Ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius II wouldn’t let men marry during wartime, so Bishop Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret. He was eventually executed for his actions.
2. Before his death, Valentine wrote one last note to his beloved and signed it, “from your Valentine.”
3. In the Middle Ages, many people were illiterate and couldn’t sign their name. If they needed to sign something, they would sign with an X and kiss it to show their goodwill. This is how the X’s in XOXO came to signify kisses.
4. February 14 was officially declared St. Valentine’s Day in 1537 by Henry VII.
5. Chocolate has been prescribed since the 1800s as a way to calm the love-lorn heart.
6. More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are bought each Valentine’s Day.
7. Between the heart-shaped boxes and other chocolates, over $1 billion are spent on chocolates for every Valentine’s Day.
8. Only 27 percent of flowers purchased for Valentine’s Day are bought by women. 73 percent are purchased by men (Way to go boys!)
9. However, women buy about 85 percent of Valentine’s Day gifts.
10. About 15 percent of women in the U.S. buy flowers for themselves.
11. You can thank Venus, the goddess of love, for the prominence of red roses for Valentine’s Day. It is said that the red rose was her favorite flower. The color red also symbolizes strong romantic feelings.
12. Each year, almost 190 million stems of red roses are sold for Valentine’s Day.
13. About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year.
14. Every year, the Italian city of Verona (the home of Romeo and Juliet) receives roughly 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet. These letters are typically from the heartbroken and those lost in the ways of love.
15. Almost a quarter of a million marriage proposals happen on Valentine’s Day every year!
Do you have any other fun little tidbits of info about the lovey-dovey holiday? What’s your favorite part of this time of year?