Holidays: Valentine’s Day

Roses are red, violets are blue — celebrate Feb. 14 with trivia too!

"Ruff ruff" means "I love you."

According to reports, consumers spend $650 million annually on Valentine’s Day. While Feb. 14 is one of the most consumer-driven days of the year — filled with candy, chocolates, flowers and more — it all centers around that elusive human emotion, love.

Valentine’s Day is the premier time to show affection for those most special and dear; however, it wasn’t always that way. The holiday’s namesake dates all the way back to the third century when St. Valentine,  a priest who performed secret marriages in defiance of Roman Emperor Claudius II, was executed for treason on Feb. 14.

Although many people attribute the evolution of Valentine’s Day to Hallmark, there’s a mass of little-known facts behind this heartfelt holiday. Brush up on your trivia (to impress that special someone, perhaps?) below:

The origins of Valentine’s Day as a holiday for love date back to the Roman Empire, when the fertility festival Lupercalia was celebrated on Feb. 15. 

Valentine’s Day cards originated in 1415 when Charles, duke of Orleans, sent several rhymed love letters to his wife in France while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

  In 1537, Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday by Henry VIII (not exactly remembered as the most romantic guy in history).

 ♥ In the Middle Ages, it was believed that meeting an unmarried person of the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day indicated marriage to that person in the future.

The first commercial Valentine appeared in the 1800s, and in 1866 the NECCO candy company made the first “Conversation Hearts” candies, then known as “Motto Hearts.”

Traditionally, it was believed that if a woman saw a robin flying on Valentine’s Day, she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich man.

In Wales, love spoons of wood with engraved hearts, keys and keyholes were given as gifts on Feb. 14, symbolizing the unlocking of one’s heart.

♥ Valentine’s Day ranks No. 1 among holidays with fresh flower purchases.

More than one million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually. One-fourth of those cards are humorous.

2 U.S. cities are named after St. Valentine — Valentine, Texas and Valentine, Neb. — along with 17 other cities named romantically including Lovelady, Texas; Loving, N.M.;  Loveland, Okla.; and Romeoville, Ill.

Don’t forget to show some love at Texas State this Valentine’s Day with PAWS Market Cupid Deliveries or a heartfelt gift from the University Bookstore.

Finally, here’s a little love from us to you — from the mouth of a Husky. Happy Valentine’s Day, Bobcats!

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