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Valentine’s Day: Origin, History, 10 Interesting Facts to Recall

"Box of Valentine Chocolates" by Dwight Burdette - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Box of Valentine Chocolates” by Dwight Burdette – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

When Rome was ruled by Claudius II in 270 BC, not many youth were available for military might he wanted so he banned the country’s youth from homes or holding marriage functions and imposed host of other restrictions that made them unhappy to live with their loved ones. That was the time when Saint Valentine discreetly held marriage vows for soldiers and the youth that angered the King and landed him in jail.

In jail, Valentine fell in love with the blind daughter of the jailor and on the day of his hangning, he wrote his final love letter and signed “From Your Valentine” and hoped that she could see the writing whenever she gets her sight back. Reportedly she did get to see the writing on the wall and the legend goes that he embodies love ever since. Two centuries later, the Church declared him a Saint and asked people to celebrate February 14, the day he was hanged to death, as the day of lovers.

While the legend is interesting, the way the Valentine’s Day reached all corners of the world is significant in view of the universal appeal of love over war and treachery. In 1415, Charles, the jailed duke of Orelans, wrote his love letter ending with words “Your Valentine” that reverberated later on as a model for many such love letters. Soon it turned into a customary exchange of greeting card in 19th Century when businesswoman Esther Holland in Britain saw immense scope in selling greeting cards for the enthusiastic youth. She was credited as the “Mother of Valentine’s” as the custom persisted even to this day.

Here are some interesting facts to recall for the Valentine’s Day today:

— Roman Goddess of Love Venus was fond of roses and hence they have become synonymous with love and giving a rose became the symbol of love on the Valentine’s Day.

— The first poem of love was found in the Sumerian Civilization dating back to 3500 BC on a mud plank. Several such artefeacts were found later on in every civilization.

— According to a study by Syracuse University, it takes just one-fifth of a second to develop love for a person, which is almost instant among humans.

— On an average, men will have crush for at least seven women before they fall in love finally, according to a study.

— The connection between love feeling is more to do with the brain than heart as the signals are processed much faster to send them to eye among men when they fall in love. For women, their memory power paces up during the time they are in love.

— When lovers meet and see eye-in-eye, their heart beat is equal, resonating the same feeling in both.

— On average, 6 million people propose marriage on the Valentine’s Day worldwide, said a study.

— In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the year on 14th of every month — Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black day, Rose Day, Kiss Day etc.

— On a single Valentine’s Day, 200 million roses are sold worldwide. While 73% of them are bought by men, women account for 85% of the gifts bought on this day.

— Nearly 200 million greeting cards are exchanged on a single Valentine’s Day worldwide. It comes second only to the New Year’s Day cards.

— Around 35 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold on Valentine’s Day. The idea of a Valentine’s Day heart-shaped chocolate box came from Richard Cadbury in 1868.

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