National Geographic Kids

Common messages from original candies include “Married in white you have chosen right” and “How long shall I have to wait? Please be considerate.”

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Seven Fun Facts

Another year rolls around, and soon it’s Valentine’s Day: a day to share chocolates and show love. Most people know the holiday was named after the martyred St. Valentine, but most do not know that there was more than one priest named “Valentine” or “Valentinus.” So, what more do we not know about Valentine’s Day?

1. Our modern Valentine’s Day was inspired by the Pagan festival “Lupercalia,” where people sacrificed a goat and a dog in hopes of making women fertile.  

2. Some, to simply pass time, celebrate Valentine’s Day with horror movies (ex: My Bloody Valentine, 1981)

3. “XOXO” has Christian origins. The “X” symbolized the Christian cross, and the “O” represented a kiss. Thus, it became known as “sealed with a kiss.”

4. The first Valentine was written from prison, when Charles, the Duke of Orleans, wrote a love letter to his wife while imprisoned. 

5. “Sweetheart” candies were first created with machines meant for making cough drops. They were created by the pharmacist and inventor Oliver Chase, who first came up with the concept of printing messages on candy in 1866. 

6. Pet owners also celebrate Valentine’s Day with their animals. More than 72 million American adults bought gifts for their pets, spending more than approximately $2.14 million in 2021. 

7. Valentine’s Day = Flower Day. About 250 million roses—mostly red—are grown annually just for Valentine’s Day.

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