Valentine's Day Trivia: 7 Facts about Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is almost here! This celebrated holiday is a day of love, whether with a significant other or a close group of friends. Showing your appreciation towards your loved ones can be just as cheesy as the movies. Here are some fun facts about this romantic day:
1. Saint Valentine is based on multiple people. As told by History Canada, one Saint Valentine was a priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. When Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers and outlawed marriage in young men, Saint Valentine was said to continue performing marriages in secret, defying his ruler and ultimately resulting in his execution. Another Saint Valentine may have been captured when helping Christians escape Roman prisons. During this imprisonment, he fell in love with a young girl who would visit him. He would send her letters signed “From your Valentine.” Overall, both these stories encompass heroic and romantic gestures.
2. The oldest Valentine still in existence was written in 1415. History Canada explains that this Valentine is a poem by Charles, Duke of Orleans, which was written to his imprisoned wife in the Tower of London.Wear your heart on your sleeve” is more than just a saying. This expression was first recorded in Othello by Shakespeare. Merriam-Webster suggests that this saying was referencing the medieval armour used to protect the arm, called the sleeve. To show her favour to a Knight, a lady would give him her scarf or ribbon to tie around his sleeve.
3. “Wear your heart on your sleeve” is more than just a saying. This expression was first recorded in Othello by Shakespeare. Merriam-Webster suggests that this saying was referencing the medieval armour used to protect the arm, called the sleeve. To show her favour to a Knight, a lady would give him her scarf or ribbon to tie around his sleeve.
4. Cupid stems from Greek mythology. History Canada points out that Cupid is based on Eros, the God of Love. He would use his gold arrows to incite love and play with the emotions of other Gods and men.
5. Sweethearts or Conversation hearts were a medication at first. Sweethearts started as lozenges, but the cute heart shape could not be passed up by the candy industry! This is explained more in Huffington Post.
6. 145 million Valentine Cards are exchanged each year. According to Hallmark, this is the second-largest holiday for exchanging greeting cards.
7. The expected 2021 Valentine's Day spending has gone down. According to the National Retail Federation, the spending average for Valentine's Day in 2020 hit a whopping $197. With plans changing for 2021, this year's expected spending is around $165.