Valentine’s Day — a day that celebrates the feast of two Christian martyrs of this name. Both history and legend are vague and contradictory about details of the two Valentines. An old legend has it that birds choose their mates on Valentine’s Day. Now it is one of the widely observed unofficial holidays.
The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
Historians claim that the first valentine was a poem sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time.
In the U.S., Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first Valentine’s Day cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800’s and now the date is very commercialized.
In the Middle Ages, one Valentine’s Day custom was for young men and women to draw names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would then wear these names on their sleeves for one week. This is where we got the phrase “To wear your heart on your sleeve” Bubba.
In the U.S., 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts. It’s all at the last minute. Kind of like we just did at Christmas.
Second only to Christmas, Valentine’s Day brings out the card-giver in people, with an average of 1.01 billion cards purchased every year.
The Chocolate Manufacturers Association of America says that 36 million boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day. According to Hershey’s Chocolate Company, Valentine’s Day ranks fourth in sales behind Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.
American men usually spend about twice what their wives or girlfriends will spend on them for Valentine’s Day-but the women’s gifts, while cheaper; tend to be a lot more thoughtful. Guys just buy what ever they see at the Walgreen’s checkout counter.