From Victorian era to the age of romantic 3D movies, here are 10 weird Valentine’s Day facts that you’ve never heard of.
#Fact 1: When the Duke Celebrated Valentine’s Day for the First Time
The first evidence of celebrating Valentine’s day dates back to 1415, when the Duke of Orleans (Duke Charles) wrote a poem for his wife, when he was held captive in the Tower of London, during the Battle of Agincourt.
#Fact 2: When the Couples wore their “Lover’s Heart on their Sleeves”.
In the Middle Ages, all youngsters were expected to write their names in chits and place them in a crystal bowl. The couples had to draw names from the bowl to find their partner. Once the names were drawn, the couples were expected to pin the names of their partners on their sleeves. This is how the idiom to “Wear one’s heart on sleeve” came into existence, as it was considered a brave move to declare one’s love in the open.
The alternate story states that February 13 to 15 is observed as the ‘Fertility Ceremony’. The couples who drew one another’s name from the bowl were declared as sex partners for rest of the year.
#Fact 3: The Romans observed Lupercalia, a precursor to Valentine’s Day Earlier
The ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia, wherein the boys would run through the crowded streets of Rome, swinging goatskin strings. It was believed that if the strings touched a girl, they would produce healthy children when they grew up. These goatskins were called ‘Februa’. This is where the month of February derives its name from.
#Fact 4: The pair of Swans and the Ribbons that you see on Cards actually have a deeper meaning them.
According to medieval folklore, the ribbons that adorn modern-day cards were adopted from the English cultures. In Eastern countries, when the knights would go to battlefield or any tournaments, their wives and girlfriends would gift them ribbons as a gesture of good luck.
It’s believed that Venus (the goddess of love) was fond of birds, particularly swans and doves. The ancient people believed that birds always choose their mates in the month of February. That’s why Valentine’s gifts and mementos often include ‘love birds’ as their main highlight.
#Fact 5: After Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the Occasion when Maximum Cards are Exchanged.
Card statistics reveal that around 1 billion cards are exchanged on Valentine’s Day every year. During the Valentine’s day, the card sales shoot as high as 50%. It’s shocking but true that Valentine’s day cards were exchanged since the Victorian times. Then, the cards were sent anonymously because it was considered bad luck to sign one’s name on cards.
#Fact 6: A bunch of ‘Single, Frustrated Sexists’ observe it as a ‘Lonely Day’.
A couple of years back, a group of hardcore feminists started observing this day as ‘Quirky Alone Day’ to raise their voices against the tyranny of normal couples. Alternately, the bachelors and spinsters started observing it as SAD (Single Awareness Day) to celebrate their glorious days of singlehood.
#Fact 7: Teachers get Maximum Gifts on Valentine’s Day.
Surprisingly, out of all the professions, teachers and professors get maximum number of Valentine’s Day gifts. Within families, about 3% gifts go to the pets.
#Fact 8: It’s not just Cards and Gifts but Drugs and Pregnancy Tests too that are sold in February.
Durex (a condom company) reports that Condom sales are 20% to 30% higher during the Valentine’s Day. On an interesting note, at-home pregnancy tests sale shoot high in the last week of February.
The nerds would be thrilled to know that Penicillin (a drug introduced for treating syphilis and other venereal diseases) was introduced on February 14.
#Fact 9: The Japanese Observe Valentine’s Day in Instalments.
In Japan, it’s customary for the women to distribute chocolates and gifts to men whereas the men reciprocate it on ‘White Day’ that is celebrated on March 14th.
#Fact 10: Iran, India and Pakistan are countries where a Certain group of People Protest against Valentine’s Day.
In 2011, Iran banned Valentine’s Day because it was considered as a threat to Islamic culture. Additionally, Pakistan and Indian societies feature cultural groups that see it as an attack of Western culture in their countries.