(PCM) To celebrate this Valentine’s Day, we have complied a list of some of the more surprising facts about the holiday. We looked at everything from the retail side of the holiday to the history, along with everything in-between.
1. Shoppers spend an average of about $135.00 dollars on gifts for their significant others on Valentine’s Day. Married couples do not spend as much as those that are dating or engaged,as those shoppers tend to spend an average of $20 more.
2. The origins of Valentine’s Day had much more to do with death than it did for love. Valentine’s Day originated as a liturgical Christian celebration commemorating the martyrdom of Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine is said to have been imprisoned and killed for performing marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry under Christian service. The act of signing a letter or card with ‘Your Valentine’ is due to St. Valentine composing a letter to his jailers daughter, who he had healed,, right before his execution and signing it with those words.
3. It was medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who first created an association between St. Valentine’s Day and romance. In 1381, Chaucer wrote a poem in honor of the marriage of King Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia: “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” This is the first recorded association between Valentine’s day and love or romance.
4. About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in US each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas. Several reports claim that teachers actually receive more Valentine’s than anyone else each year.
5. More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day each year. About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year and men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine’s Day.
6. The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians around 3500 BC.
7. Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.
8. You can find Valentine’s skull on display in Rome. It is housed in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. You can find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
9. In the 1800s doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate, claiming it would sooth their pain. To this day, many women find comfort in a box of chocolates when dealing with heartbreak.
10. 220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year. However, 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts.