Valentines Day is supposed to be a day to declare your love. It is the holiday that sells the most the greeting cards with the exception of Christmas and it is also a holiday where gifts of candy and flowers are freely and not so freely given as tokens of affection. Here are a few facts about Valentines Day you may not know.
- In reality, there were actually 3 St. Valentine’s. One was a priest, one a bishop and one little is known about except he was a martyr. The stories of the priest’s and bishop’s martyrdom are so closely related it is difficult to tell which St. Valentine the Holiday is named after.
- According to legend it was St. Valentine himself who sent the first valentine in the form of a letter to his jailer’s blind daughter with whom he had fallen in love. Just before he was put to death at the hands of King Claudius II for marrying the kings soldiers without the King’s permission he penned a note to his love and signed it… From your Valentine.
- It is believed that a mount Holyoke college student by the name of Ester Howland created the first lace valentine in the United States from lace, ribbon and colorful pictures. She has become known as the Mother of the Valentine.
- Teachers receive more valentine cards than anyone else, even children.
- More than 650 million valentine cards are exchanged by children from ages 6-10 each year and most of the cards were purchased in the last 6 days leading up to Valentines Day.
- Each year the city of Verona Italy receives more than 1000 valentines addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet. It is amazing how much affection a dead fictional character can attract.
- It was once believed that if a woman saw a flying robin on Valentines Day she would end up getting married to a sailor. If a sparrow was the bird she saw she would end up marrying a man that was poor and live a happy life, if she saw a goldfinch then she was to marry a man that was a millionaire. Makes one wonder who she would marry if she saw a crow.
- In 1929 at the height of prohibition Al Capone ordered the killing of members of a rival gang run by Bugs Moran in Chicago on Valentines Day. Authorities were unable to find any real evidence to tie Capone to the crime and he was never arrested or tried for the murder of these seven men. Instead he served his time for tax evasion.
- In the Middle Ages young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned on their sleeves for one week. This was done so that it becomes easy for other people to know your true feelings. This was known as “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
- It is estimated that 15% of the women in the United States who receive flowers for Valentines Day send them to themselves. There are no figures that tell how many of these women are married, single or in a relationship.
Culled from ABOUT.COM