Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays! What’s better than a holiday filled with chocolate and all things pink? (And love, of course). A lot of holidays we celebrate in America these days are quite commercialized, so here’s some things you may not know about Valentine’s Day!
- Valentine’s Day is also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.
- The history of Valentine’s Day is far too complex and disputed to fully elaborate upon in just this article. There are also a few different legends of the origin of Valentine’s Day because it was established so long ago. To simplify: the common denominator of these stories is Saint Valentine. There were multiple Saint Valentines recognized by the Catholic Church. One legend is that Saint Valentine sent the first Valentine while he was in jail before his execution. He was jailed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. Another legend is that Saint Valentine performed marriages when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage and was then sent to death. Whichever Saint Valentine this holiday is based upon, the first Feast of Saint Valentine was on February 14 CE 496, the day that Saint Valentine was martyred around third century CE.
- It is also claimed that Saint Valentine’s Day was established by Christians to cover up the Roman Pagan holiday called “Lupercalia.”
- According to the National Retail Foundation, the expected spending of Valentine’s Day in the U.S. this year is $21.8 billion. The average is that each person is going to spend this year is $164.76. The numbers are down this year due to the pandemic. Who are you spending it on?
- The commercialization of Valentine’s Day cards in the U.S. is due to a woman named Esther Howland, known as “Mother of the American Valentine.” She set up a small assembly line of girls on the third floor of her family home. In the 1850s, Esther annually earned $100,000 in her Valentine’s Day card sales, which would equate to about $3 million today.
- About 58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased the week leading up to Valentine’s Day! I wonder how much I’ve contributed to that number.