Holidays: Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2011

By Britney Munguia

Be mine?

February 14— The only day of the year where everything revolves around consumerism: cards, chocolates, dinner reservations and roses.

Many people are surprised to learn that Valentine’s Day didn’t begin with Hallmark, but may have evolved from a story about St.  Valentine, a cleric during the Roman Empire.

According to the legend, during the reign of  Claudius II in A.D. 270, Valentine performed numerous secret wedding ceremonies against the emperor’s orders. When his actions were discovered, Valentine was sentenced to death on Feb. 14. While in jail he wrote a love note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.”

Some more Valentine’s Day facts:

In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine’s Day.
Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s.
Approximately 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most-popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold.
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.

If you’re looking for a gift for that special Bobcat in your life, by the way, the Texas State Bookstore has some holiday-themed items.

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