Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day History

Since it is so close to Valentine’s Day, we figured we would see how this holiday came about.
One story dates back to Roman times when Claudius didn’t want men to marry before enlisting in the army.  He felt single men made better soldiers.  Bishop Valentine went against Claudius’ wishes and held secret marriage ceremonies.  When Claudius found out, Valentine was jailed and later killed on February 14th.  He was later named a saint and February 14th became a feast day for many Christians.

In the Middle Ages, people believed birds began to mate on February 14th.  Because of this, the people began sending love letters on this day.   Men and women would also draw names out of a bowl to see who they would be paired with for the next year.  When they drew the person’s name, it was placed on their sleeve so everyone in the town would be able to see who they were paired with.  This later coined the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve.”

In the 15th Century, sung valentine’s were later replaced with hand-written notes and poems. 
Chocolates were given as gifts in the 1800’s.  Chocolate was also prescribed by doctors to their lovesick patients to soothe their nerves and calm their emotions.  Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s during this time as well.  

And the rest is history……

Did you know?
-Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the US.
-73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men.
-Manufacturers of Conversation Hearts introduce 10 new sayings each year.
-189 million stems of roses are sold on Valentine’s Day in the U.S.
-More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes will be sold for Valentine’s Day. 

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