Personally, I adopt as many celebrations as possible, be they Catholic, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist or Muppet. We get one real shot at this life and I like to think that, while I celebrate every day I wake up, there's always room for more reasons to celebrate. If one or more of those "holidays" can be exploited by consumeristic, profiteering, mass-production businesses, then by golly, they can sure be exploited by me.
To that end, here's a few things you may, or may not have known about Valentine's Day:
- Many believe the 'X' symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn't write their names signed in front of a witness with an 'X.' The 'X' was then kissed to show their sincerity.
- Casanova, well known as "The World's Greatest Lover," ate chocolate to make him virile.
- Physicians of the 1800's commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.
- More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.
- Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S.
- Every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
- Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight. (Source: Hallmark research)
- 112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2008. (My own Vegas elopement was in 2009)
- So many couples "tie the knot" in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it's total population that year among states was 35th.
- 53% of women in America would dump their boyfriends if they did not get them anything for Valentine's Day
- Approximately one billion Valentines are sent out worldwide each year according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association. That's second only to Christmas.
- Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all Valentines.
- Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
- Men spend double what women spend on Valentine's day: $158.71 compared to $75.79
- 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day
- 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
- About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again
- According to a Durex survey, condom sales are highest around Valentine's Day -- 20 to 30% more than usual