8 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day

It wasn’t always celebrated with chocolate
and roses. It comes around once a year and
is usually touted as a big corporate scheme.
But Valentine’s Day is way more than just a
Hallmark holiday.

1. It has some pretty dark roots.

Historians believe Valentine’s Day actually
began in Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility
festival call
Lupercalia, which included sacrificing animals
and whipping women with animal skins until
they bled, signifying their fertility. So

2. In the 1300s, it officially became a
holiday associated with love and romance.

The holiday was Christianized — no more
animal sacrifices! — and was celebrated in
mid-February because many believed that
birds started their mating season on
February 14, which is why doves are often
associated with love.

3. Saint Valentine wasn’t just one person.

In fact, he might have been two or three. But
the most common “founder” of Valentine’s
Day was the Saint Valentine, who defied
Emperor Claudius II. At the time, Claudius
had banned marriage because he thought it
distracted young soldiers. Valentine felt a bit
differently — he illegally married couples until
he was caught. After he was sentenced to
his death, young couples would visit his cell
and give him flowers and cards. And the day
he actually died? February 14. Allegedly.
But there have been multiple St. Valentines
throughout history, including one pope. (He
only served for 40 days in 827 A.D.)

4. The first valentines were sent in the 15th

But not until the 17th century did people
start exchanging cards and letters. And
Valentine’s Day cards weren’t mass-
produced until the 1840s.

5. Today, it’s pretty big business.

More than 62% of Americans celebrate
Valentine’s Day and spend an estimated $20
billion a year, including more than $448
million the week before February 14 on candy
alone. On average, men spend $150 on
Valentine’s Day. And the women? Just $74.
Step it up, ladies! not everyyear boxers and

6. An estimated one billion Valentine’s Day
cards are sent each year.

That’s more than any other holiday except
Christmas. And how sweet: Teachers receive
the most Valentine’s Day cards annuals,
followed by children, mothers, and wives.

7. The most popular gift on Valentine’s Day
is flowers .

Followed by chocolate and then jewelry.
Americans send more than 220 million roses
each year, and as many as six million
couples will get engaged on February 14.
(February is the second most popular month
after December for proposals.)

8. According to Durex, condom sales rise in

Sales are almost 20% to 30% higher around
Valentine’s Day. And maybe not so
surprisingly, more at-home pregnancy tests
are sold in March than any other month.