Valentine's Day is exactly one week away and for some of our readers, it will be a night of romance and love. It doesn't matter if you are single, ready to mingle or all coupled up, it's hard to escape the hype of Valentine's Day; supposedly the most romantic day of the year.
To get you all in the mood for the 14th of February, the team at BingoDaily has prepared 10 Fun Facts About Valentine's Day for your entertainment.
1. Blame the Romans
There are many things we can blame or thank the Romans for. Valentine's day and the giving of flowers is one of them. Back in the 260s AD, the Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage. The concept of marriage — devotion, fidelity — was one of those new-fangled Christian ideas that the Romans simply wanted nothing to do with.
However, Saint Valentine of Terni to give him his official name, and born in Terni, Italy in 226AD, continued to marry men and women in secret. His exploits were finally discovered and he was thrown in prison and executed on the 14 February 269 AD. Folklore has it that just before his execution he wrote one last letter to the woman he loved, signing it “From your Valentine.”
2. Roses are Red…
We all relate the colour red with passion and love. Legend also has it that Venus, the goddess of love, favoured red roses above all other flowers. Even in the Roman times, it was traditional for men and women to exchange flowers on their wedding day, as a sign of good luck and the start of a “blooming” relationship.
In the US, an estimated $3.3 billion will be spent on flowers in 43 million households. Surprisingly though,
3. Saudi Spoilsports
In Saudi Arabia, Valentine's day is actually banned! Gifting any tokens of affection such as chocolates, flowers or presents is forbidden by law. Companies in the retail and hospitality industry are actively discouraged from promoting the special day. If that's not extreme enough people in the Islamic country are not even allowed to wear any clothing that is red. If that isn't extreme enough (it would certainly discourage Chris De Burgh), selling red objects, yes red objects, is also banned on Valentine's day!
4. Lost in Translation
In the land of the rising sun, it's traditional for single women to reveal who they fancy on Valentine's Day by giving them a small chocolate gift. Myth has it that the custom of only women giving gifts was down to an error in translation made by a chocolate company in 1936 when Valentine's day was first introduced to Japan.
5. USA! USA! USA!
In the UK, the average spend on Valentine's Day is £28.45. Not a country to be outdone, the U.S. sees an average spend of $221.34, nearly six times the average British spend. . The average American spends $130 on Valentine’s Day, whilst on average the American women spend around $70.
Whilst on the subject of North America. Every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift.
6. Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
The Valentine’s Day custom of gifting a box of chocolates was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, the founder of the British chocolate family dynasty. With a new technique recently established at the company to create more varieties of chocolate, Cadbury took the opportunity to sell chocolates as part of Valentine's Day.
In the U.S. over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold on Valentine's Day.
7. Banned in the UK
There once was a time that Valentine's Day was actually banned in the British Isles. Oliver Cromwell took the step of banning all Valentine's Day celebrations when he became Lord Protector in 1653. For seven long years, there was no Valentine's Day celebration nor Christmas celebrations. Both holidays were restored in 1660 when Charles II took the throne as the Monarchy was restored.
8. Let's Get it On
Condom maker Durex report that sales of Condoms increase by an average of 20 to 30% around the 14th of February. No stats are available on how many of those sold are still in the wallets in March though.
9. Finnish Friend Zone
The Finns, not known for their romantic ways, celebrate Friendship Day on the 14th of February instead of Valentine's Day. Ystävänpäivä (no, I can't pronounce it either) sees friends buy cards and gifts for each other. The true meaning of the friend's zone.
10. Secondary Importance
Despite all the money spent on Valentine's Day and its importance to many, it still comes a distant second to other special days. For floral sales, Mother's day comfortably beats Valentine's Day.
Also, when it comes to card giving, even though an estimated 1 billion cards will be sent in the U.S. alone, February 14th is the second-largest card giving day of the year, right behind Christmas which sees on average 2.6 billion cards sent.
We hope you have enjoyed these Valentine's Day facts, but not as much as we hope you enjoy your actual Valentine's Day! Oh, and BTW.. what could be more romantic than a game of UK bingo anyway!