Love is in the air
by MELISSA SNYDER Banner, Lifestyles Writer
Feb 13, 2011 | 1996 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There seems to be an obscure mystery and fascination around the history of Valentine’s Day. We may never really know the exact history and the origin of the holiday but we do know it’s the day of love centered around romance, cards, flowers, candy and jewelry — all trademarks of the holiday. Approximately 150 million cards are given on Valentine’s Day, and according to Hallmark research, this does not include the boxed ones exchanged by elementary students.

I thought it would be both interesting and entertaining to share some of the facts I found from Brain Candy Valentine’s Trivia on Enjoy.

- In the U.S. 15 percent of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

- Some 73 percent of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

- Valentine’s Day is the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.

- About 3 percent of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

- In the U.S., 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts.

- Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an “Improvement in Telegraphy,” on Valentine’s Day, 1876.

- California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.

- Hallmark has over 1,330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.

n The heart may be associated with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the target of Cupid. Anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is so closely linked to love, it’s red color is thought to be the most romantic.

- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

- In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.

- In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”

- The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red stands for strong feelings which is why a red rose is a flower of love.

- Valentine's Day is big business. Consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine's Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers expect to have up to $650 million in sales of food, candy, flowers, and other Valentine’s Day gifts. Of that amount about $350 million will be for gifts and flowers and another $45 million will be spent on food (including chocolate) and wine.