When the word “Valentine” pops up in the middle of our conversations with people, what immediately comes to our mind is roses, teddies and other red or white related things. Yeah, it’s cool because red and white is the colour of Valentine’s. However, Valentine is much more than that. Here are some unpopular facts about Valentine: 

1. St. Valentine Wasn’t Just One Person

It’s popularly known that Valentine’s Day was named in honour of its patron saint, St. Valentine. Still, there is controversy surrounding this. You might have heard mostly about the Valentine that defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban on marriage but there’s another Valentine that was killed for trying to help Christian escape prison in Rome, and sent the first Valentine message himself while imprisoned, a letter signed “From your Valentine.” Unfortunately, a similar thing about these people is being killed for love. Would you mind doing that for anyone?..lol

2. Valentine Officially Became A Holiday Associated With Love In The 1300s

One should perhaps be respectful when calling “Valentine” because it’s not even the mate of our forefathers. The record has it that at the end of the 5th century, Roman Pope Gelasius officially declared the date of February 14 “St. Valentine’s Day”, but it was until the Middle Ages that the holiday became associated with love and romance. This tradition first began from the common belief in France and England that birds start their mating season on February 14. No wonder France is a city of great romance and passion. You probably can’t wait for a Frenchman to come to sweep you off your feet because these yoruba demons are far from romantic. Our dear late Tosin Bucknor married a Frenchman, remember? 

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4. The tradition of giving Valentine’s Day flowers dates back to the 17th century

Only a few Nigerian men give their women red roses but that still doesn’t change the fact it’s part of the most popular Valentine culture across the world. Before giving out beautiful elegant roses on Valentine’s Day became popular, the world had to witness the arrival of the 17th century. Additionally, this practice can be traced back to when King Charles II of Sweden learned the “language of flowers” and subsequently introduced the tradition to Europe. Seeing that rose giving is a gesture of love, I think it wouldn’t be bad if women giving roses to their men also becomes popular. What do you think? 

5. Cupid Originated From Greek Mythology

Do you know what a Cupid is or you’re eager to find out? Either way, this charming cherub often appears on Valentine’s Day cards. The figure can date as far as 700 B.C., to a Greek god of love named Eros. He was a handsome, immortal man who had the intimidating power to make people fall in love. In the 4th century BCE, Romans adopted Eros into the image of a cute little boy with a bow and arrow, then named him “Cupid.” Due to his love-matching powers, Cupid was linked to Valentine’s Day by the turn of the 19th century. 

6. Valentine Is Celebrated Differently Around The World

Since we have various cultures and beliefs, Valentine is celebrated in different places across the globe. For instance, in Japan, women give confections to the men in their lives, with the quality of the chocolate indicating their true feelings. A month later (March 14) the men repay the favour by celebrating the “White Day.”

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7. In the 15th century, the first Valentine was sent 

Have you ever wondered when the first Valentine was sent? A French medieval duke named Charles is recorded to have first sent Valentine’s message to his beloved wife in 1415. As romantic as that was, poor Charles wrote this sweet note to his lover while being imprisoned in the Tower of London at just 21 years old! One of the catchy lines of the poem is, “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine”. Awwn..it’s too bad we hardly have men who take delight in writing their lover’s letters in our country.

8. We Get The First Mass-produced Valentines In the 1840s 

In the United States Of America, one of the most powerful countries in the world,  the first Valentine’s Day cards were mass-produced during the 1840s. However, people began exchanging cards and handwritten letters with their lovers and friends in the 17th century. These cards were sold in the USA by Esther A. Howland. Also known as the “Mother of the American Valentine”, Howland put in a lot of work to commercialize Valentine’s Day cards in the country. The elegant woman is remembered for her elaborate, crafty cards made with lace and ribbons. 

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9. The First Heart-shaped Box Of Chocolates Was Introduced In 1861

If you’re a lover of heart-shaped chocolates, you should know these enjoyable candies were introduced in 1861. Do you know what’s more astonishing about this? Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, the popular beverage company came up with this idea of packaging chocolates in fancy boxes to increase sales. This innovative man introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in 1861. Currently, over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold every year, making 58 million pounds of chocolate! 

10. Nearly 6 Million Couples Get Engaged On Valentine’s Day

Spoiler alert! If you’re in a serious relationship with someone who truly cares, you might just get a souvenir this coming Valentine. There’s no doubt that Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to ask someone to walk down the aisle with you, so as many as six million couples get engaged on February 14. Moreover, Valentine’s Day was once voted as the best day of the year for proposals. 

Besides this, there are still plenty of interesting facts to know about Valentine. However, the most important thing to know about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a day to celebrate love. So, in whatever way you can, no matter how big or small, go out there and make your loved ones feel the love in the air! 

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