February 8, 2015
Boyfriends and husbands come second to puppies, why seeing a bird would dictate who a lady will marry, chocolates mend a broken heart, what is a vinegar valentine?
The exact origins of Valentine’s Day are something of a mystery. The two most common held beliefs are: The legend of the kindly Christian cleric later to be ‘Saint Valentine,’ who supposedly married love struck couples in secret at a time when that religion was banned in Rome and during his time in jail awaiting execution, penned a love note to the jailor’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.” Others claim the traditions of the day are more closely related to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, with its rites connected to fertility and early spring.
Whatever its origins, Valentine’s Day is now well and truly enshrined as a ‘modern day tradition’ (some may say “commercial”). For the romantics it is all about love both the pursuit and its confirmation.
Here are a collection of snippets of facts you may not be aware of.
In the 1800s, doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate. They claimed it would sooth their pain. It is believed this is where the tradition of giving chocolates came from.
Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and surprisingly before husbands and boyfriends….pets.
Close to 9 million pet owners in the USA buy gifts for their canine companions on Valentine’s Day.
The cost of true Love
Men spend almost twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do.
More than one-third of men would prefer not receiving a gift. Less than 20 percent of women feel the same way.
Legend has it that the first bird a woman saw on Valentine’s Day would tell her what sort of a man she would ultimately marry. Spotting a blackbird meant marrying a minister; a dove, a good-hearted man. Goldfinches (possibly a Thai’s favoured choice) signified riches, a sparrow, a happy man; a robin found you a sailor; while a hawk got you a soldier. The wise owl meant you spent your life with an old man. While those who glimpsed a woodpecker where destined to become a spinster. Then I assume a good day would be seeing both a goldfinch and an owl at the same time?
15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
According to the condom company Durex, condom sales are highest around Valentine’s Day, which are 20 percent to 30 percent higher than usual.
More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month.
From around the world
Japan: Women give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine’s Day, while men are expected to return the favour on March 14th, commonly known as White Day, they are expected to return gifts that are at least two or three times more valuable than the gifts they received from women. Returning a present of equal value is considered a coded message that the romance is over.
Iran & Saudi Arabia: Perhaps the only two countries in the world where Valentine’s day is actually banned. In 2008 Saudi officials told florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine’s Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin as it “encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women”. While the day was only banned in Iran in 2011
Malaysia: Muslims who make up 60 percent of the population are prohibited from celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Pakistan: Authorities have continued to warn media outlets to avoid broadcasting romance-themed content on Feb. 14.
India: While the government does not condemn the holiday, militant Hindu extremists have threatened to defend their strict interpretation of Indian culture by attacking celebrants.
United Kingdom: Valentine’s cards are often sent anonymously in the UK, a tradition dating back to Victorian times. So the recipients find out they have secret admirers while the senders satisfy themselves with the knowledge that the ones they admire know they’re admired. Various parts of the country have their own ways of celebrating: in the county of Norfolk, a mysterious ‘Jack Valentine’ knocks on people’s doors and vanishes, leaving sweets for children. In Wales, Valentine’s Day comes just a few weeks after St Dwynwen’s (January 25) after the Welsh patron saint of lovers.
How-ever and who-ever you share your Valentine day, ‘live for the moment’ (Thankfully it’s only once a year)