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Valentine’s Day is now the second biggest card-giving celebration in the world, next to Christmas. In the UK we go crazy for all the red, floral and cuddly goodies available in shops in the run up to 14th February (and afterwards, probably in the sale section of the aisles!)
As Valentine’s Day is now just around the corner, we have gathered a few lesser-known facts together for you to feast your eyes on:
- Nobody knows the exact origin of the ‘love heart’ symbol so commonly associated with Valentine’s Day but theories involve shape links to the human heart, kissing swans, and cupid’s arrowhead, which is often more rounded that a classic arrowhead
- A Valentine note exists from 1415; it was written by the Duke or Orleans to his wife whilst he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for involvement in the Battle of Agincourt. This is the oldest surviving Valentine’s note
- About 3% of pet owners in the UK will be pampering their furry friends on Valentine’s Day. Will you be one of them?
- Hallmark produced its very first Valentine’s Day card in 1916. Nowadays the company produces over 1330 different card designs for 14th February!
- Around 132 million individual Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year
- Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, however in some it is celebrated differently. In Japan, for example, the day is all about women giving chocolates to men; not just lovers, but friends and colleagues too. Then, on 14th March the Japanese celebrate White Day, where the role is reversed and men buy gifts for the women in their lives.
- Every year for Valentine’s Day around 1,000 people write to Juliet Capulet (of Romeo & Juliet) in Verona, Italy, despite the fact she was a fictional character (and she died at the end of the classic Shakespeare tale)! Volunteers in the town actually sort through these letters and reply to each.
Happy Valentine’s Day!