25 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

Valentine’s day is celebrated every year. But do you know where Valentine’s day came from? How it became so popular? Was it always about love and good feelings? From its bloody origins to its sweet, chocolaty modern day traditions, these are 25 interesting facts you didn’t know about Valentine’s Day.



The most popular theory about Valentine's Day's origin is that Emperor Claudius II didn't want Roman men to marry during wartime. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. For this, Valentine was jailed and executed. While in jail he wrote a note to the jailer's daughter signing it "from your Valentine."

Image of Bishop Valentine

In Victorian times, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.

Image of Happy Valentine's Day card

Based on retail statistics, about 3% of pet owners will give gifts to their pets on this day.

Image of Labrador puppy on grass

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About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. This makes it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year.

Image of valentine's day cards

If you’re single, don’t despair. You can celebrate Singles Awareness Day (SAD) instead.

Image of broken heart and the words SAD singles Awareness day

Meant as an alternative to Valentine’s Day, the holiday is for single people to celebrate or to commiserate in their single status.

Meme of woman on pink background with words saying today may be single's awareness day but chin up tomorrow is half price candy day

You could also pop over to Finland where Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä, which translates into “Friend’s day.” It's more about remembering your buddies than your loved ones.

Image of Friend's day

Many believe the X symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn't write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.

Image of XOXO against white background

Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on this day to make them dream of their future spouse.

Image of Ketchup on pancakes

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve."

Image of folded notes inside a green bowl

In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.

Image of King Henry VII

Physicians of the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.

Image of milk chocolate being poured

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Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for this holiday in the late 1800s.

Image of square chocolate

More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year.

Chocolate hearts against red background

73% of people who buy flowers on this day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

Image of red roses on white background

15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.

meme with cute dog and words saying who is awesome? You are awesome!

Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased on this romantic day in the U.S.

Image of red heart in the middle of chocolate

Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight.

Meme of procrastination

The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

valentines day facts

Red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings.

Cute text conversation

189 million stems of roses are sold in the U.S. on this day.

Red roses

Women purchase approximately 85% of all gifts on this holiday.

Image of gift and red bow

Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts, and pets.

Image of gift for teacher with words Sweetest teacher

220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine's Day each year.

Image of wedding bands

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.

Valentine's day meme with words I want our romance to be like Romeo and Juliet. I will pretend to be dead and you go kill yourself