Seven unknown facts about Valentine’s Day

Here are seven facts you probably didn’t know about Valentine’s Day;

St. Valentine wasn’t just one person

It is popular knowledge that Valentine’s Day was named after its patron saint, St. Valentine — but according to, there is some confusion surrounding which St. Valentine the holiday actually honours.

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According to it, there are at least two men named Valentine who could’ve inspired the holiday.

  • One is the Valentine who was a priest in 3rd century Rome. As the story goes, he defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban on marriage, who thought it distracted young soldiers, illegally marrying couples in the spirit of love until he was caught and sentenced to death.

  • Another legend suggests that the other Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians escape prison in Rome, and that he actually sent the first “valentine” message while imprisoned, writing a letter signed, “From your Valentine.”


Valentine’s Day is rooted in ancient pagan festivals

While some historians believe that Valentine’s Day commemorates the death of St. Valentine on February 14, others believe that the holiday actually has its origins in a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia which was celebrated on February 15 in ancient Rome. The day was celebrated by sacrificing animals and smacking women with animal hides, a practice that was believed to encourage fertility.


Valentine’s Day wasn’t romantic until the 1300s

Towards the end of the 5th century, a Roman Pope, Gelasius, officially declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. But it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the holiday became associated with love and romance, a tradition that first started from the common belief in France and England that birds started their mating season on February 14.


The Victorians began the trend of giving flowers for Valentine’s Day

Red roses as a symbol of romance date back to ancient Rome— it was the favourite bunch for Venus, the Roman goddess of love, according to legend.

However, it wasn’t until the Victorian era that men really began giving the flower to women they were wooing.


The first known valentine was sent in the 15th century

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The oldest record of a valentine being sent, according to, was a poem written by a French medieval duke named Charles to his wife in 1415. Charles penned this sweet note to his second wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at just 21 years old. One of the lines in the poem? “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.”


Valentine’s Day chocolate was a stroke of marketing genius by Cadbury in 1861

The son of the manufacturer of Cadbury Chocolate, Richard Cadbury, created the first known heart-shaped box of chocolates in an effort to drive up sales for the family business. From that first Valentine’s Day box sold in 1861 grew an industry that now counts some 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate sold annually, said.


Valentine’s Day is florists’ busiest day of the year.

According to the Society of American Florists, Valentine’s Day is every florist’s busiest day ahead of Christmas and Mother’s Day in terms of number of purchases and the majority of the flowers sold on this day are red roses.

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