Valentine’s Day facts

The most romantic holiday is upon us. Once the Christmas decorations go down, it seems like every store in America rushes to fill their shelves and aisles with Valentine’s Day merchandise. As a result, you can’t go anywhere without constantly being reminded that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For instance, while grocery shopping at Kroger last week, I felt ambushed by all of the chocolates, romantic cards and stuffed teddy bears that were scattered throughout the entire store. Likewise, while at CVS, I could barely find what I needed due to the deluge of Valentine’s Day merchandise.

This pre-Valentine’s Day frenzy can oftentimes begin to seem dull and overrated. However, I’ve found a few unique facts about this holiday that might give it some added novelty.   

Did you know?

1. 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, which makes this holiday the second-most popular greeting-card-giving season behind Christmas.

2. Over half of the U.S. population participates in Valentine’s Day by purchasing a greeting card.

3. It’s no surprise that Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for florists. Flower sales on this day bring in business worth $14.7 billion. This amount is close to the GDP level of Iceland.

4. Men outnumber women in flower purchases on Valentine’s Day. While 73 percent of men buy flowers on this day, only 27 percent of women do.

5. Men spend an average of $130 on Valentine’s Day related items, which is nearly double what women spend.

6. The importance of chocolates on this day dates back to the 1800’s.  Richard Cadbury, owner of Cadbury’s cocoa and chocolate company, introduced the tradition of chocolate giving on Valentine’s Day.

7. Approximately 8 billion candy hearts are manufactured for Valentine’s Day each year.

This amount of candy could be stretched 20 times from Italy to Arizona back and forth.

8. Ten percent of the total marriage proposals throughout the year take place on Valentine’s Day. The average number of marriage proposals that take place on this day is 220,000.

9. Each color of rose sent on Valentine’s Day has a certain meaning. A red rose represents love and respect, pink represents someone having sweet thoughts about his or her loved one and white represents purity.

10. Over 50 million roses are given worldwide for Valentine’s Day each year.

11. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the two biggest flower-giving holidays.

12. About three percent of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

13. There are disagreements about St. Valentine’s true identity. One account claims that Valentine was a temple priest in Rome and another account states that he was the Bishop of Terni, which is another city in Italy.

14. St. Valentine is regarded as the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, two unlikely combinations.

15. The city of Verona in Italy, where Romeo and Juliet lived, receives thousands of letters addressed to Juliet for Valentine’s Day each year.
While it might just seem like a worn out holiday, Valentine’s Day has a unique history that dates back centuries. More importantly, though, it’s a time for people to take a minute out of their busy schedules to appreciate the loved ones in their lives.