Some things you might like to know about St Valentine’s Day

Some things you might like to know about St Valentine’s Day

  1. Above is a picture of one of the almost 224 million red roses that will be sold for Friday, with the majority being given by a man to a woman, although other variations do occur.  Some people even buy roses to give to themselves on Valentine’s day.
  2. The number you are given has significance too.   A single rose shows devotion or gratitude; two asks the question ‘will you marry me?’;  six acknowledges the need to be loved; eleven tells of a deep and abiding love, whilst if you receive thirteen they will be from an unknown admirer.!
  3. Mother’s day is second in rating for the numbers of flowers sold for a single event during the year.  Interestingly both these dates are out of the normal, natural flowering season for roses in the UK, so probably the blooms you will receive will either be imported or forced and therefore carry a high carbon footprint.  Is there any mileage in buying locally grown flowers from local poly tunnels – perhaps the eco-minded need to do some research here.
  4. In the USA (I couldn’t find figures for the UK) about 145,000,000 Valentine’s cards will be sold, making this celebration second only to Christmas for card sales.  Interestingly enough, whilst the majority of flower purchases are made by men, the bulk of card sales (approximately 85% in US) are made by women.
  5. St Valentine’s day has been celebrated in some recognisable form from the 14th century, when it was recorded by Geoffrey Chaucer in his poem the ‘Parliament of Foules’.  Legend, however, puts its origins much further back to Roman times.
  6. As usual the celebration grew from a traditional pagan celebration recognising the time when the natural world was showing growing signs of fertility and mating.
  7. Traditionally, from the 18th century on, couples would exchange handwritten notes on this date. However, the technological ‘advances’ in printing during the Victorian era, meant that by 1900 cards were being mass produced.
  8. Alternative cards, ones that informed your partner of the end of a relationship, were on sale from the mid 19th century until the Second World War.  Many carried verses commenting upon heavy drinking or loose moral behaviour which would be sent by women to men, whilst conversely men would send women cards with verses commenting upon their growing independence and  fight for suffrage.  These were known as Vinegar Valentines, losing favour during WW2 because they sapped morale of soldiers at war and away from home.
  9. Other presents given for Valentine’s Day include chocolates, with most manufacturers having their own special heart shaped confections or other flowers.  In fact nowadays,as it is considered unfair to leave out unattached family members, often the gift giving is extended to include lonely spinsters or lovelorn bachelors.  Please think hard about doing this.  Some family members are single by choice and don’t necessarily want to be included. Valentine’s Day is, after all, a celebration of fertility, couples and found love rather than a family love in.  Perhaps it is important to remember this and confine the celebration to the couple – today you don’t always get the opportunity to honour that commitment and loving relationship and doesn’t it deserve you being a bit selfish for that one evening?
  10. Some ideas of things to do – go out for a meal, or send the children off for a sleepover somewhere and have the house to yourselves for a romantic evening in;  go to the theatre, pictures or other show; indulge a shared passion or discover something new; pamper yourselves.  Whatever you do, do it for yourselves, for your relationship and the love you bear one another.  Enjoy and revel in each other’s company.