It’s February 14 – Valentine’s Day. Smell the roses, nibble some chocolate and check out some fun facts about this love-filled day:
- The origins of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for love date back to the Roman Empire, when the fertility festival Lupercalia was celebrated on Feb. 15.
- Valentine’s Day cards originated in 1415 when Charles, duke of Orleans, sent several rhymed love letters to his wife in France while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
- In 1537, Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday by Henry VIII (not exactly remembered as the most romantic guy in history).
- In the Middle Ages, it was believed that meeting an unmarried person of the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day indicated marriage to that person in the future.
- The first commercial Valentine appeared in the 1800s, and in 1866 the NECCO candy company made the first “Conversation Hearts” candies, then known as “Motto Hearts.”
- Traditionally, it was believed that if a woman saw a robin flying on Valentine’s Day, she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich man.
- Valentine’s Day ranks No. 1 among holidays with fresh flower purchases.
- More than one million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually. One-fourth of those cards are humorous.
Whether you love this holiday or despise it, just know that DMU ‘hearts’ you!