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1) Valentine's Day evolved from what ancient Roman festival?

Valentine's Day is believed to have it's roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Sometime around 496, Pope Gelasius I renamed this pagan festival Valentine's Day and moved it to February 14.

2) Statistically, a woman who purchases flowers on Valentine's Day is most likely buying them for ...?

According to the Ipsos-Insight for the American Floral Endowment's Consumer Tracking Study (2004), when a woman buys flowers on Valentine's Day she is most often buying them for herself (27%). Other common recipients include her mother (23%), her significant other (18%), her daughter (8%) or a friend (7%).

3) How many Valentine Cards are sent each year?

The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentine cards are sent world-wide each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas.

4) St. Valentine was put to death at the order of what Roman emperor?

Although there were several St. Valentines, most scholars believe Valentine's Day was intended to honor a priest who attracted the displeasure of the Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. Claudius had come to the conclusion that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for all young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of this decree, defied the order and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius II had him put to death.

5) Cupid, the mischievous winged child, has become associated with Valentine's Day because his arrows pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love. Who was Cupid's mother?

Cupid's mother was, appropriately, Venus--the Goddess of Love. The identity of his father is less clear. Seneca says that Vulcan, as the husband of Venus, is the father of Cupid. Cicero, however, claims that Cupid's father is either Mercury or Mars.

6) What percentage of Valentine Cards are purchased by women?

The Greeting Card Association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. Apparently, women really are more thoughtful!

7) The British Museum holds a letter believed to be the oldest valentine still in existence. Who wrote it?

Charles d'Orléans was captured by the English at Agincourt and then kept prisoner for the next twenty-five years. He passed his time writing sorrowful poetry, including the St. Valentine's Day letter that describes his sadness at being parted from his love.

8) What percentage of roses purchased on Valentine's Day are red?

According to the Ipsos-Insight for the American Floral Endowment's Consumer Tracking Study (2004), of roses purchased on Valentine's Day, 69% are red, 6% pink, 6% peach/salmon, 5% yellow, 4% white, 7% mixed colors and 4% other.

9) In addition to being the unofficial patron saint of love, what occupation is St. Valentine also believed to be the patron of?

Besides his patronage of couples, love and happy marriages, St. Valentine is also charged with ensuring the sweetness of honey and the protection of beekeepers.

10) Who created the first Valentine's Day box of chocolates?

In 1822, John Cadbury opened a tea and coffee shop in Birmingham, England. He soon expanded into chocolate manufacturing, and in 1861 his son Richard greatly increased sales by packaging Cadbury chocolates in the world's first heart shaped candy box for Valentine's Day.