Facts and Figures About the Most Romantic Day of the Year
No sooner had the Christmas cards been cleared from the shelves, they were immediately replaced by Valentine’s Day cards. Spare a thought for anyone who has a birthday around this time of year.
Depending on you and your thoughts, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic time of the year, or it is an over-hyped holiday designed to fleece you out of a few more quid just when you’ve got yourself back on the straight and narrow after Christmas.
However, there’s no denying it’s a big deal and that’s why people in the UK spend more than £600m each year on Valentine’s Day, that's a lot of cards, flowers and chocolates.
But where and when did it all start and where do we get most of the customs we still follow today?
Who was St Valentine?
One theory goes that was believed to have been Bishop Valentine, a priest from Roman times. Back then, the Emperor Claudius II banned his soldiers from getting married during wartime because he wanted to keep their minds on fighting. However, Valentine would perform secret weddings for the soldiers. When Claudius found out, Valentine was executed and his martyrdom ensured.
How did Chocolates Become a Valentine’s Tradition?
Richard Cadbury, the son of the founder of Cadbury’s, is believed to have been responsible for this. Chocolate gathered in popularity during the Victorian times and began to be presented in decorative boxes. Cadbury is believed to have been the first to design a heart-shaped box to present chocolates in for Valentine’s Day and since then, the tradition stuck.
Who Spends the Most on Valentine’s Day?
It's estimated that the average adult in the UK will spend an average of £29 on Valentine’s Day. However, when it comes to gender, men spend almost twice as much as women on Valentine’s Day.
What are People Spending Their Money on for Valentine’s Day?
According to research, a large chunk of all Valentine’s Day spending is on buying food and drink which is eaten and drank at home. In the UK, couples splashed out almost £130m in 2017 on eating in.
The next biggest Valentine’s Day outlay is jewellery which accounts for £112m while flowers aren’t that far behind on £102m.
Valentine’s Day Cards
Is estimated that couples will spend more than £50m on Valentine’s Day cards, which is a far cry from the first Valentine’s Day card which is believed to have been sent by the Duke of Orleans to his wife back in France when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1415 after he had been captured during the Battle of Agincourt. Nowadays, it is believed that around one billion Valentine’s cards are sent every Valentines Day, making it second only to Christmas for the most popular card-giving time of the year.
Proposing on Valentine’s Day
Despite it being something of cliché, around one million people will get engaged as a result of Valentine’s Day proposals. However, 2020 is also a leap year, so there could also be a spike in proposals by women on 29th February!