Valentine's Day Fun Facts

Cupid will have his arrows aimed at hearts next week as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. I can’t take credit for these fun facts (below) about the world’s most romantic holiday… most of them were in an article by Julie Fishman. But I enjoyed them, and thought you would too!

Here’s to love, the Holy Grail for all romance writers. xoxo Jenna

-Most historians link the lover's holiday to an annual celebration in Rome that occurred every Feb. 15. During the boisterous bonanza, men stripped naked and spanked young maidens with animal-skin whips in an effort to increase fertility. While tame in comparison, modern Valentine's Day festivities are observed today in Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and the U.K., in addition to here in the U.S.

-While history buffs don't unanimously agree on who the original Valentine was, the most popular suspect is a clergyman in ancient Rome. When the emperor outlawed marriage during wartime (because he believed single men made better soldiers), Bishop Valentine performed secret wedding ceremonies. It wasn't until 496 A.D., over 200 years after the bishop's death, that Pope Gelasius I officially declared Feb. 14 as Saint Valentine's Day.
-While Valentine greetings have been exchanged since the Middle Ages in Europe, the tradition didn't reach the United States until the 19th century. According to the Greeting Card Association, the person credited with starting it in the U.S. is Esther Howland, an American printer and artist, who published and sold the first cards on Valentine's Day in 1850.

-The Greeting Card Association estimates that 145 million cards will be sent worldwide in 2014 (not including children's packaged valentines for classroom exchange) and that more than half of Americans purchase at least one card, making Valentine's Day the biggest greeting card holiday in the U.S. after Christmas.

-According to a survey by American Express, 56 percent of Americans took a more digital approach to sending their declarations of love last year, but the trend may not continue. In fact, the Greeting Card Association expects printed valentines to far outweigh the sending of e-cards, texts or social media posts this year.

-The National Confectioners Association reports that Valentine's Day candy adds up to a sweet billion dollars in sales each year. Nearly three-quarters of that money is spent on chocolate, which has been lauded as an aphrodisiac since the 15th century. Candy hearts are a hit too, of course: Eight billion are made each year, and if you were to line up all those little candies, then the distance would reach from Italy to Arizona 20 times.

-Roses are the flower of love. The favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love? The red rose, of course. The bud stands for strong romantic feelings, so it's no surprise they make up the most popular Valentine’s bouquet.

-According to Woman’s Day magazine, true love is apparently not that hard to find. Over two million marriages take place in the United States every year. That means there are more than 6,000 a day!

So grab some chocolates, flowers, maybe some sexy lingerie, and enjoy!

            Until next month,

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