It’s almost Valentine’s Day so we thought it would be fun to explore some of the neat traditions, stories and facts surrounding this most loving holiday. Valentine’s Day is a super exciting holiday to celebrate with the entire family. But do you know how it started? Or why chocolates are a valued gift? Check out these fun facts about Valentine’s Day before the celebration begins:
The Origin of Valentine’s Day
While there is some debate about the true origins of Valentine’s Day, many people believe it stems from ancient Rome when Emperor Claudius II forbade marriage during wartime. He felt single men made better soldiers since they were not distracted by matters of the heart. Bishop Valentine disobeyed the emperor and married lovers anyways, which landed him in jail. He sent a letter to the jailor’s daughter from “your Valentine,” thereby adorning the holiday with his name. He was executed on February 14, the modern day Valentine’s date.
An Official Holiday
Valentine’s Day became official in 1537 when King Henry VII declared February 14 the holiday of St. Valentine.
Wear your Heart on your Sleeve
This famous expression began in the Middle Ages. Men would draw the name of their Valentine from a bowl and would wear it on their sleeve for a week. Now the expression means that you show your true feelings, just like these men showed off the names of their chosen beloved.
Signed with a Kiss
In medieval times people who were unable to write their own names would use an “X” instead and kiss it to prove they would keep their word. That is why the “X” now symbolizes a kiss.
A Rose by any other Name
Roses are said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the goddess of love. Red has become a symbol of romance. Nearly 200 million roses are sold in the United States around Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day chocolate is over a billion dollar industry. It is believed that the world’s greatest lover, Casanova, ate chocolate to increase his sex drive. It was also once prescribed as a remedy for a broken heart. Over 35 million candy heart boxes are exchanged on Valentine’s Day in the U.S.
Babies born in November are often known as “Valentine’s Babies” because they were likely conceived around Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Inspired Baby Names
Baby names inspired by Valentine’s Day include Valentina/Valentino, Val, Rose, Lily, Ruby, Candy, Lacey, Desiree, Teddy, Romeo, Juliette, Honey and Belle.
Gifts of Love
The biggest tangible gift of love ever given was the Taj Mahal. The Indian Emperor Shahjahan erected it as a love memorial for his wife.
It is estimated that 220,000 men propose marriage on Valentine’s Day. This is second to only Christmas Eve.
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Valentine’s Day and share them with all those you love. Happy Valentine’s Day!