A special day set aside to express affection for those we love has been a romantic tradition that dates back centuries.
But why Valentines' Day?
Although early historical records are sketchy, we know that St. Valentine was a martyr who was beheaded for his beliefs
in early Christian Rome.
the Middle Ages, St. Valentine was honored by the church with a special feast day on February 14. Coincidentally, that day was already known in European folklore as the date when birds first began looking for a mate.
Naturally, all that billing and cooing was enough to associate romantic love with St. Valentine
and the rest, as they say, is St. Valentine's Day history!
later, Valentine's Day first began taking on its modern
look during the Victorian
era, when Valentine's Day love notes between sweethearts became wildly popular, leading to the exchange of gifts of candy and flowers. Sound familiar?
With so much hoopla surrounding a modern Valentine's Day, here are more fun facts to sweeten your day:
First introduced in 1902,
hearts added "Tweet
Me" to the roster in 2010.
• Candy manufacturer Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine's Day.
• Valentine's Day candy hearts were first produced by NECCO in 1902 with classic messages like "Kiss Me," and "Be Mine." .
• Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S. each year, a majority of which is sold in heart-shaped boxes.
• The red rose was said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
• The colors of roses have special meanings. A simple gift of a single red rose means "I love you". Peach colored roses stand for a desire to get to know each other better. Purple roses mean love at first sight.
• It's estimated that more than a million red roses will be sold and delivered in the US coast to coast on or around Valentine's Day this year.
Looking for love
• The top best selling love songs of all time include "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder ($1.77 million in sales); "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles ($1.75 million); and "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston ($1.36 million).
• The number of dating service establishments in the US nationwide establishments totals close to 400, which include Internet dating sites employing 3,125 people and pulling in $928 million in revenue.
• Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine's Day in the US? Try Loveland, Colorado, Lovejoy, GA, Romeoville, IL, Heart Butte, MT, Love Valley, NC, or Valentine, TX.