Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate. Sure, it’s considered one of the most romantic days of the year when poems are written, flowers are given, and romantic trips are planned. But have you ever heard that famous poetic verse, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, if you don’t buy me something expensive, I might have to move on from you”! What? You’ve never heard that one? Well, that’s because we just made it up, but it does have a certain ring to it. After all, while Americans will spend about 30 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day in 2019, a study by AttorneyFee.com, found that divorce filings also increase by about 18% in February. Now that’s romantic – and FirstLantic has ten other statistics that you may also find interesting about this holiday!
1. The saying “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” supposedly originated during the Middle Ages. Men would draw the names of women who they would be coupled with for the upcoming year and then wear the name on their sleeves to show their bond during the festivities that followed.
2. In Japan, only women give gifts to men on Valentine’s Day.
3. 1 out of every 3 men purposely avoid getting into relationships between Thanksgiving and February 14th.
4. Famous people born on Valentine’s Day include John Barrymore (1882), Jimmy Hoffa (1913), Jack Benny (1894), Carl Bernstein (1944), Renée Fleming (1959), and Florence Henderson (1934)
5. The first Valentine was written from prison by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his second wife after he had been captured at the Battle of Agincourt.
6. ‘Vinegar Valentines’, according to Smithsonian Magazine, were sent to discourage certain suitors during the Victorian age.
7. The origin of the day is said to date back to Roman times when a fertility festival was held where men sacrificed a goat and a dog. And that’s just the beginning…
8. About 3% of pet owners will give gifts to their pets on Valentine’s Day.
9. In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared Feb.14 the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.
10. On Valentine’s Day 2010, 39,897 people in Mexico City broke the record for the world’s largest group kiss.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In summary, although there is no shortage of interesting facts about St. Valentine’s Day, let’s end with the thing that it is best known for, which is romance and true love. And one of the greatest known love stories began in 1845 when Robert Browning wrote to Elizabeth Barrett revealing his admiration for her poetry. Within the next 20 months, they would write over six hundred letters to each other. They eventually married, over the defiance of her father, who disowned her. Elizabeth and Robert then moved to Italy where they later welcomed a son and spent their time writing some of their most recognizable poetry. They would remain there happily for the next 15 years until Elizabeth died in her husband’s arms in 1861. Now that is a beautiful story.