Valentine’s Day – A day for celebration of love! Well, that was how it started and that’s how it continues; despite the many changes it has taken in its shape and form. The origins of this day are credited to Bishop Valentine, a clergyman who lived during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II; who was also infamously known as “Claudius, The Cruel”. This infamous appellation was attributed to the Emperor due to his ruling that men should not marry during war-time. But Valentine went ahead and conducted secret weddings, which resulted in his execution. But not before setting off this wonderful tradition that has now become a universal phenomenon!
Here are some interesting facts about Valentine’s:
Valentine’s Day is also a memorable day in the life of Alexander Graham Bell. No, not because he found his true love; but because it was on this day in 1876 that he applied for his patent for telephones. Of course, he termed it as an “Improvement on Telegraphy”. Little did he guess that this technology would also become the primary means of communication for all valentines!
Flowers and cards have always been the primary means of expressing love. And come February 14th, the US alone uses up over 1 billion cards!
Flowers have an undisputed edge when it comes to expressing love. Although men and women send flowers; it looks like women like to be at the receiving end, for this once. Because, according to statistics, while 73% of men purchase flowers during Valentine’s only 23% of women do so.
And for those women who don’t receive flowers or fear they wouldn’t, they seem to have decided to gift themselves! 15% of the women in US send flowers to themselves. That leaves a meagre 8% women who gift flowers to men! Poor guys!
And again, only 46 percent of men actually make advance plans for Valentine’s. Now you understand; why there is a heavy rush of men at flower shops during Valentines! That’s their last ditch effort to make good their forgetfulness. So that explains the “73 % men” purchasing flowers!
Boys and girls are not the only ones receiving wishes, gifts and love. It is believed that 1 out of every 5 wishes for Valentines are directed towards parents. Wow! And about 3% of pet owners decide to make it a special day even for their pets! How cool is that!
Cupid and his arrows have always been used as a symbol of eternal love. If you are wondering how he got into the picture; you wouldn’t be surprised to know that he is the son of Venus, the Roman God of love and beauty. But that is not the only reason! Cupid was believed to have magical powers that he used to inspire love by shooting magical arrows.
Valentine’s is a time when people don’t mind “wearing their heart on their sleeves”. And this, literally, has its origins in the Middle Ages when people would wear the names of their Valentines on their sleeves, for a week.
Love and dreams go hand-in-hand. And during the 17th century, people believed that a hopeful maiden could find her Valentine if she had a hard-boiled egg for supper and went to sleep with five bay leaves under her pillow. A good diet and pleasant aroma is sure to induce sweet dreams, I guess!
Signing a Valentine’s card was considered unlucky during the Victorian period. A nice excuse, even today, if your card was a last-minute pickup and you didn’t get the time to sign it!