February is known as the month of love, the window to spring, with Valentine’s Day taking center stage for lovebirds and couples. While many associate the holiday with romantic dinners, heart-shaped candy and bouquets of red roses, there are many things about the Valentine’s Day that the average person doesn’t know.
Here is a list of 14 things you probably didn’t know about the most romantic day of the year.
1.- The holiday can be traced back to the Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, where young men would draw the name of a woman who would become their sexual companion for the year.
2.- The British started the practice of sending cards in the 17th Century, but it wasn’t until the 1840s that cards were being mass produced for the holiday.
3.- Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the first telephone on Valentine’s Day in 1876.
4.- In 1822, Richard Cadbury, used the world’s first heart shaped box to package his company’s delicious chocolates so he could sell them on Valentine’s Day.
5.- Many consider Valentine’s Day to be celebrated in honor of Saint Valentine, a saint who was executed on February 14th for performing wedding ceremonies in secret against the emperor, Claudius II’s wishes.
6.- Over 20 billion dollars is spent on Valentine’s Day each year in the United States and 20% of that is used to purchase jewelry.
7.- 220 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day sales each year and the cost of a typical bouquet is three times that of any other time of the year.
8.- In 1866, Daniel Chase created the most popular Valentine candy when he pressed food dye letters into his heart shaped candies, creating the first conversation heart.
9.- Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday by Pope Gelasius at the end of the 5th Century.
10.- Around 6 million couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day this year.
11.- The tradition of sending anonymous cards became very popular during the Victorian era, when it was considered bad luck to sign your name on a Valentine.
12.- Many know that love and compassion isn’t reserved just for the human race. People around the world love their pets unconditionally and just over 3% of pet owners purchase a Valentine’s gift for their four-legged friend each year.
13.- Some women in medieval times ate trance inducing foods on February 14th, hoping to create hallucinations and dreams of the men they were destined to marry.
14.- In medieval times, individuals who couldn’t write would sign documents with an “x” and then kiss it to sign their name. This is where the famous “xoxo” came from.