Ask any youngster about Valentine’s Day and he will jump and say it is the day we celebrate love. But many people do not know the origins. Here is a compilation of facts and information about Valentine’s Day which is celebrated all over the world.
Two theories abound in connection with the origins of Valentine’s Day. One is that it derives from a raucous Roman festival known as â€œLupercaliaâ€ which used to occur on February 15 every year. In this festival men used to spank young maidens in the hope that this would increase their fertility.
The second and the more relevant origin, dates back to the period when Rome was being ruled by Emperor Claudius II. During those days the Emperor passed an ordinance that soldiers should not get married. He was of the view that single men used to perform better as soldiers. Saint Valentine was a saint who opposed this obnoxious rule of the Emperor and defied the ban openly. In fact he went ahead and conducted secret weddings of soldiers. He was hence imprisoned by the Emperor and executed on February 14. It is in his memory that Valentine’s Day is celebrated as the Day of Love by young couples all over the world. This is a more plausible theory which can be accepted as the origin of Valentine’s Day.
According to legend, it is stated that during his period of imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. It is also stated that just before his execution he signed a farewell letter to her as â€œYour Valentineâ€.
St Valentine’s Day was considered to be an official feast day for the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. There are various churches and each church had its own version of Valentine’s Day. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates St Valentine’s Day on July 6th as well as on July 30th in honor of the Roman saint Valentine and the latter date in honor of martyr Valentine, The Bishop of Interamna.
- This festival flourished in the 18th Century England where lovers expressed their love for each other and exchanged confectionaries. The 19th century saw the exchange of hand written greeting cards on the occasion. In the midst of the 20th century this practice of exchanging hand written cards extended to exchanging gifts too.
- In the earlier days it was celebrated only in England and the countries which England ruled. Subsequently it spread to other countries as well in the later part of the 20th
A lot of interesting facts do the rounds about Valentine’s Day which one should know.
- On this day at least 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold all over the world.
- It is seen that men spend much more that what women do on Valentine’s Day gifts.
- About 50 million roses exchange hands on this particular day.
- Of all the greeting cards sold on that day, women buy about 85% of them.
- After Christmas, this is the day when the maximum greeting cards are sold.
- More than 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the US alone.
- Of the flowers that are purchase don that day, 73% account for men.
- The first Valentine’s Day candy box was invented by Richard Cadbury.
- It is on this day that Sir Alexander Graham Bell patented the invention of the telephone.
- There was a superstition that in case you were single, you would end up marrying the first single person of the opposite sex you meet on Valentine’s Day.
Many stories and facts can be listed in connection with Valentine’s Day. But one thing is true that it is celebrated as the Day of Love, as the youth of today know it.