On February 14, people from many areas of the world will be celebrating Valentine's Day, but where did the annual romantic holiday get its name from and what exactly is it a celebration of?
Valentine's Day is named after a famous saint, Saint Valentine, who allegedly died on February 14. He defied Emperor Claudius II, who had banned marriage, by illegally marrying couples all in the name of love. It's not a new celebration either as the first one took place back in the year 496! Valentine's Day is also said to have originated from a Roman festival which would occur in the middle of February and mark the start of Spring.
Generally speaking, it's a day where people show their affection for another person by making gestures such as sending a card, flowers or chocolates (or maybe even all three!) along with messages of love. Over 32 million Brits will be spending money on their loved ones this Valentine's Day - that's 61%!
Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for florists, with red roses being the top choice of flowers. They are often gifted singularly or in a big bouquet! Flowers are a popular gift at this time of year and a great way of expressing thanks and gratitude and letting someone know that you enjoy their company and friendship. Whilst red is the favourite colour of roses for Valentine's Day, pink and white are also popular and just as stunning!
The first heart-shaped chocolate box was created in 1861 by none other than Cadbury, who introduced different shaped, more luxurious boxes in a bid to increase sales. Today, heart boxes are a Valentine's Day staple, as well as heart-shaped chocolates!
The symbol for Valentine's Day is Cupid, who in Roman mythology is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty and Mars, the god of war. If you look at the picture below, you will see that he carries a bow and arrows in order to pierce people's hearts causing them to fall deeply in love! Cupid is also sometimes depicted as blind, or at least wearing a blindfold, which correlates with the common phrase 'love is blind.'
Teachers receive the most Valentine's cards each year, followed by children, wives, mothers and then pets! That's right, lots of people choose to write out a card for their furry friend, be it a dog or a cat, as well as gift them some tasty Valentine's treats.
Valentine's Day isn't a day solely for couples to celebrate, it's a great time to express love and gratitude to all those around you, including family and friends!