10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day
31st January 2018
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You may be feeling like you’ve only just got over Christmas, but Valentine’s Day will be upon us before you know it. So to turn your thoughts away from the turkey leftover meals and towards champagne and chocolates, here are ten things that you (probably) didn’t know about Valentine’s Day:

  1. Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honoured on 14th February are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.
  2. The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about ‘Valentines’ in the 14th century.
  3. The earliest surviving example of Valentine poetry was written in the 15th century by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife, while he was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
  4. Valentine's Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5 (1600–1601).
  5. In 1835, 60,000 Valentine cards were sent by post in Britain, despite postage being expensive. The invention of the postage stamp in 1840 saw the number of Valentine cards posted leap to 400,000.
  6. Today an estimated 25 million Valentine cards are sent in the UK each year.
  7. The Valentine’s Day tradition of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK and has since spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
  8. Around half of the UK population spend money on their Valentines.
  9. £1.3 billion is spent in the UK every year on Valentine cards and gifts.
  10. There are regional variations of Valentine’s Day traditions in the UK. In Norfolk, for example, a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children.

And that's ten things you (probably) didn't know about Valentine's Day. Have a wonderful time with your Valentine 14th February or, if you’re single, don’t forget to celebrate National Singles Day on 11th March!

[Source: Wikipedia]

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