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15 Valentines Day Facts You'll Love

Here are 15 romantic facts to get you in the mood for Valentine's day! Find out all about St Valentine and the origin of this famous holiday!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  February 6th 2024

Every February the 14th people like to exchange gifts, flowers and cards with the people they love. But where does it all come from? Well, we've compiled 15 Valentines day facts you'll love to explain this very romantic holiday! Find out who St Valentine was, why we celebrate his life and the reason some people in South Korea wear black on February 14th! And we've got more fascinating facts right here! How about these 21 fun Santa facts to continue the holiday theme? Or how about these 15 historical facts about Roman Emperor Julius Caesar? You might even like these 10 gift facts if Valentines has put you in a generous mood!

1. St Valentine Was a Real Person...Probably

St Valentine of Roman was a Roman bishop who was probably alive around the 3rd century AD. Not much is known for definite about him except that he was martyred (killed for being a Christian) and became a saint. His death was pretty gruesome (like most saints) but beyond that its hard to say what is fact. The legend about him goes that he would marry Christian couples in secret, although none of these stories seem as old as the saint himself. He is also supposed to have sent a love letter to a woman 'from your Valentine' (hence the celebration) but again this probably isn't true!

2. Valentines Day is February 14th

Valentines day takes place on the 14th of February every year. People all over the world send flowers, chocolates and cards to their partners, or to people they secretly fancy. Over the years it has become a popular day to propose, ask someone on a date or go out for dinner, and the Valentines industry is worth millions of pounds!

3. St Valentine is the Patron Saint of Some Weird Stuff

St Valentine is most associated with love and romance, but did you know he's also the patron saint of some other things? His other most important patronages are bee keepers, plague and people who suffer from epilepsy! And he isn't the only saint associated with love - St Nicholas of Turkey, the archangel Raphael and St. Dwynwen of Wales are all associated with love, friendship, gifts and romance.

4. And He's All Over The Place

If you want to visit St Valentine, the good news is that you can! The bad news is you might not want to....he's just a collection of bones now! And his bones are spread all over the place - you can see his skull in Rome, his body in Madrid, his blood in Dublin, his arm in Glasgow and even more of him in the Czech republic, Poland and Greece! If you wanted, you could visit them all on a very weird roadtrip!

5. Geoffrey Chaucer Might Be Responsible for Valentines Day

Geoffrey Chaucer is the first recorded source to link St Valentine's day with romantic celebrations. Before this, it was a holiday like any other Saints day. The Catholic church has a LOT of saints, and so there are a lot of saints days, but St Valentine wasn't associated with love until Chaucer discussed it in a work he wrote in 1375, where he talks about people and birds finding mates on St Valentines day.

6. 10% of Proposals Occur on Valentines Day

If you want to propose on Valentines day, you're in good company, because an estimated 10% of all proposals take place on the 14th of February! But don't get too excited - divorce rates also go up by a whopping 40% around this time!

7. It First Became a Holiday in the 5th century

St Valentine's day first became a holiday in 496 AD, when Pope Gelasius I declared it a celebration and a feast day. Before then, the Roman festival of Lupercalia was associated with February. The Catholic church thought that Lupercalia was a bit naughty and wanted to create a new holiday that was a bit more respectable.

8. Valentines Cards Started in Victorian Time

If you've ever wondered where Valentines cards actually come from, it was the Victorians who really made them popular. They first appeared at the end of the 18th century, but it was Victorian mass-production and cheaply made paper that made them a big hit. People would send Valentines cards familiar to us today, with roses, hearts, song birds and other romantic images on them. But they would also send some weird stuff - such as locks of their own hair!

9. Black Noodle Day is a Holiday For Singles

For people who are single on Valentines day and feeling a bit lovelorn, they can always celebrate Black Noodle Day, like they do in South Korea. On the 14th of February, if you don't have a partner, you can choose to dress in your darkest colours and eat noodles in black sauce, to signify you're single and looking for love. South Korea actually has a lot of love holidays, 14 in total! They also have White day, celebrated on 14th of March, where people can give gifts to those who gave them presents on Valentines day.

10. In Finland, it's called Friendship Day

On the 14th of February, the Finnish have 'ystävänpäivä' or 'friendship day'. This is a lot like Valentines day, except that you give gifts and cards to everyone you love, friends, family, neighbours and partners. People will get together and have dinner or go sledding or skating. A similar celebration is also held in Estonia.

11. Flowers Originally Had Special Meanings

If you wanted to send flowers in Victorian Britain, you had better know what they mean! The Victorians had a whole 'language of flowers', and each different flower had a different meaning. For example, a forget-me-not could mean 'true love', but a geranium might mean 'lost hope' or 'stupidity'! And worst of all was an orange lily - 'hatred'!

12. The First Recorded Valentine is 600 Years Old

The first Valentines card we have a record of is from the 15th century, when Charles, Duke of Orleans, was being held prisoner in the Tower of London. He wrote a Valentine to his wife to his wife, in the form of a poem. In 1667 Samuel Pepys described a beautiful Valentines card he gave his wife...and then complained that it would cost him money!

13. Cupid is a New Addition to Valentines Day

Cupid is a Roman God (Based on the Greek god Eros) and was only actually added to Valentines day symbolism in the 19th century by (you guessed it!) the Victorians. The chubby baby Cupid we know today is actually based on depictions from Renaissance art. The original Cupid was a teenager.

14. The Valentines Day Massacre Is Equally Famous

Valentines day is also an important day in history. A lot of historical events have happened on the 14th of February, but the most famous is probably the Valentines day massacre of 1929. It was the murder of seven Chicago mobsters, probably by another gangster named Al Capone, and its one of the most infamous crimes in history!

15. Hundreds of Millions of Cards are Sent Each Year

Today nearly 200 million Valentines cards are sent in the USA alone! In the UK it's about 25 million - which is more than a quarter of the total population! It's safe to say that Valentine's day is as popular as ever!