As we get closer to February 14th, there’s no denying that love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is a holiday known for romance, sweet sentiments and even sweeter treats. Your early memories of this holiday of love might be of dropping cute cards into your classmates’ DIYed mailboxes. As you get older, Valentine’s Day becomes a time to show your loved ones just how much they mean to you by showering them with endearing messages, thoughtful gifts and quality time. But do you know how the Valentine’s Day traditions even started?
Before you make your dinner reservations or suit up in a special Valentine’s Day costume, get the facts straight. Here are some Valentine’s Day facts that we love!
- Richard Cadbury, of the British chocolate manufacturing family, introduces the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates in 1868. Now, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across the United States each year.
- American Valentines were more comic and less romantic until Esther Howland commercialized them. She was inspired by the thoughtful and sweet greeting cards circulating throughout England. Her designs quickly took off in the 1850s earning her about $100,000 annually. That’s equivalent to $3 million today. Now, Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-giving holiday.
- The first Valentine can be traced back to Charles, Duke of Orleans. He penned a poem to his wife in 1415 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt.
- The phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve” may have stemmed from the tradition during a Roman festival honoring Juno in the Middle Ages. The men drew names to see who their Valentine would be and then they wore the names on their sleeves for one week to show their devotion.
- The classic representation of Cupid comes from the Roman’s reinterpretation of the myths and concepts that surrounded the Greek god, Eros. He is depicted with wings because lovers are flighty and prone to changing their minds. He also appears child-like because love is irrational. He also carries two kinds of arrows. The arrows with a golden point will make a person feel uncontrollable desire while the ones with a blunt lead tip will feel aversion and the desire to flee.
- The letter X became a symbol for kiss due to the concept of being “sealed with a kiss.” The letter X was used to sign off on documents. Kings and commoners alike would mark a paper with an X. The writer would then kiss the mark as a sign of their oath.
- The people to receive the most Valentine’s Day cards are teachers. Kids follow teachers, then mothers, then wives and girlfriends.
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to go forth and send Valentines to those you care about the most. Check out our free printable Beauty & The Beast or Deadpool Valentines if you love Disney and Marvel as much as we do! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on all of our infographics, cosplay tutorials and more!