February 14th, the day that all lovers find a way to express their love for each other with the help of roses, chocolates, a nice quiet dinner date and more(ahem! *wink*). February is always accepted as the month of love, but do you even know what it is about?
The origins of this day is murky, but it is said, that the day is to commemorate St. Valentine, who would marry young Roman men during wartime, when the King had forbidden it. Now that is the most famous theory.
Another theory says that St. Valentine, himself was a prisoner of the Romans, who fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, Julia. Yes, you heard me right. Now today it may seem weird for the jailer’s daughter to be roaming around the prison, but who knows what trends the Romans followed. Apparently, on this day, ST. Valentine wrote a love-letter to lovely Julia and signed it as ‘From your Valentine’. How romantic. Now more information is unavailable on that love story, but to me the story did seem a bit shady, frankly. So I looked back in the Roman Gods and culture, and realized that the middle of this month is also celebrated as the festival of Lupercalia. What is Lupercalia?
It is the Roman festival held to worship Faunus, the Roman God of Agriculture, as well as to honour and praise the founders of Rome, Remulus and Remus. On this day, women of the city would put their names in a big urn, while all the eligible bachelors would choose names and become paired with the woman for a year. How convenient. But some would even end in marriages. Good to know that arranged marriages date back to the 1st century! So before you go ahead and get all decked up for that special candle-lit dinner date with your
bitter ..err sorry… better half, here are a few mind-boggling facts and statistics that you need to know.
Fact: In the Victorian Era, signing a Valentines day card was considered bad luck. I wonder what they did though. Scratch it? Kiss it?
Stat: This day comes second to Christmas in the number of cards sold and given worldwide! The number stands to approximately a billion dollar cards per year. Yayy for Archies.
Fact: We all know the meaning of ‘XOXO’. Where X’s are kisses and O’s are hugs. But did you know that X’s were used in medieval times by those who could not sign, and they would mark a X and kiss it.
Stat: About 35 million chocolate hearts are made on the day. Seriously! They don’t even taste that good.
Fact: Richard Cadbury, founder of our favorite brand made his first box of chocolates in the 19th century. That was when physicians advised women to eat chocolate to calm themselves from their pain of losing their love. So to all the single ladies, eat away!
Stat: On this day, about 190 million stems of roses are sold worldwide. But only 30% are bought by women, while the rest are bought by men. Tsk!Tsk! Buck up ladies!
Fact: Iran banned Valentine cards, gifts, teddy bears, and other Valentine tokens as part of an Islamic republic backlash against the spread of Western culture, back in 2011. Additionally, some religious activists in India and Pakistan protest Valentine’s Day as a day of shame of lust. They view it as a Western holiday in which Westerners satisfy their “sex thirst.” Shame!
Stat: The condom company Durex reports that condom sales are 20-30% higher around Valentine’s Day. Haha!
Fact: Though, if you are one of those single souls who need to find a reason to treat on a delicious cupcake, you can always celebrate Singles Awareness Day. Yes, it is a real thing. Also, you get to eat your cupcake all by yourself without sharing it with ‘the special one’.
Stat: If you have seen the movie ‘Letters to Juliet’ which stars Amanda Seyfried, you probably know all about the wall of letters. It is the place in Verona where Romeo and Juliet first met. Apparently, around 1000 letters are addressed to Juliet on that day. On if they knew that Juliet only exists in a play.
Fact: That pudgy baby, with wings and no pants– Cupid. He is the God of Love. The love child of Venus and Mars. Earlier, Cupid was depicted as a man(much hotter I presume) who would be found sharpening his arrows.
Stat: So I asked my cousin sister who she was celebrating her Valentines day with. Apparently her dog and she were going on a date. But did you know it isn’t as uncommon as you would think? Approximately 9 million people buy gifts for their pet of this day. Mine was born on this day <3
Fact: Penicillin was also first introduced on this day. Not that we care. It only cures a hundred odd diseases.
Stat: On Valentine’s Day 2010, 39,897 people in Mexico City broke the record for the world’s largest group kiss. Is that even a thing?
Fact: About 20% women around the world send flowers to themselves. I would too, if I liked flowers.
Stat: 20,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.
Fact: In the 15th century, if you had a problem with your beau, you could also file a case with the ‘High Court of Love’. It is made of a jury of no less than 60 women who would solve all problems that was related to love and betrayal. It was built in France. Someone should start such a thing now. I would if I had any experience with love.
Stat: It is a 15 billion dollar industry in the US itself. Jay Leno called it the ‘Extortion Day’. No kidding!
Fact: What is a Valentines day without watching some disgusting snogging on the screen? Titanic, Ghost, The Notebook, P.S. I Love You, and The Bridges of Madison County were all released on this day. Fifty Shades series makes it a point to release on this day too. Though the movie is not about love, is it?
Stat: The first ever recorded Valentines card was sent February 1415 by the English duke of Orleans. He sent a love letter to his wife while incarcerated in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt. It is currently on display in the British Museum.
Fact: Ditch that trip to Paris this Valentines day to go somewhere more apt. Kissing in Germany, Valentines in USA, Lovers’ Island in Croatia, Lovers’ Beach in Mexico, Heart’s Desire in Canada, Lover in England, and Loveland in USA. Yes! These are all places!
Stat: The most common receiver of Valentines day gifts are not hubbys and their queens. Its teachers. Then come children, mothers, spouses, lovers and lastly pets. What you got to do for love now-a-days. Each one teach one!
Fact: The worst for the last. While in Finland, 14th February is also celebrated as ‘Friends Day’. In 2005, a U.S. man was charged with using an Internet chat room to organize a mass suicide on Valentine’s Day. Dude! Hold your horses. Every dog has it’s day.