Now that we are into February, I’m sure many of our Southern Oaks Apartment residents are thinking about celebrating Valentine’s day.  Ever wonder what started this yearly celebration?

There are various theories on the origin of Valentine’s Day, but the most popular dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II, 270 A.D. Claudius didn’t want men to marry during wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on Feb. 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the jailor’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.” Sound familiar?

So what are those fun facts about Valentine’s Day?  Listed below are just a few:

  • Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the U.S.
  • 73 percent of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • 15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • In addition to the U.S., Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.
  • The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife.
  • In the 1800s doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate, claiming it would sooth their pain. To this day, many women find comfort in a box of chocolates when dealing with heartbreak.
  • A love knot is a symbol of undying love, as its twisting loops have no beginning and no end. In the past, they were made of ribbon or drawn on paper to prove one’s eternal love.
  • Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
  • About 3 percent of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
  • 220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?

Image Source:  Free Digital Photos