Many theories exist as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The story supported by a majority of historians goes like this…
In ancient Rome during the reign of Claudius II (aka Claudius the Cruel), the emperor engaged his army in numerous bloody conflicts. As time passed, Claudius found it increasingly difficult to convince men to join his dwindling army. His belief was that Roman men did not want to leave their families and so Claudius’ solution was to make marriage illegal! Single men would then have no emotional ties to prevent them from fighting for Rome.
In response, Saint Valentine began to perform secret marriages in direct defiance of the emperor, Claudius II. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, he was immediately put to death, martyred on February 14th, around 270 AD. Pope Gelasius I later declared this day Valentine’s Day in 496 AD.
Today, the February 14th holiday is a worldwide commemoration of love and affection. Some interesting statistics:
Valentine’s Day Statistics
- Valentine’s Day spending averages $13.19 billion annually;
- The average US consumer spends $116.21 on Valentine’s Day;
- Seventy percent (70% ) of those who celebrate give a card, 49% a telephone call, 48% a gift, 37% a special dinner, 33% give candy, 30% go to a restaurant for a meal, 19% give flowers;
- One hundred eighty million ($108 million) Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion behind Christmas.
- Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
- Nearly 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the week prior to the holiday.
- Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.
- On average, 196 million roses are produced annually, just for Valentine’s Day.
- Seventy-three percent (73%) of all flowers are bought by men on Valentine’s Day.
- Fifteen percent (15%) of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
- About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
Cheers to a happy Valentine’s Day!
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The History of Valentine’s Day History.com
Valentine’s Day Statistics Squidoo.com
Valentine’s Day Facts & Trivia Scribd.com
Valentine’s Day Statistics StaticBrain.com