#FunFactFriday – Is Love in the Air?
As we all know Valentine’s Day is this Sunday (you’re welcome to those who may have forgotten), and for some of us love may be in the air while others of us will be waiting for the heart-shaped versions of our favorite chocolate to be on sale on Monday.
While you may think Valentine’s Day is an overrated holiday and the result of good marketing to get consumers to spend money, the most romantic day of year actually dates back as far as 6th century B.C. and with some dark (and less romantic) connections to Lupercalia.
But if you’re anything like me you’re a sucker for a good love story, candy or anything that makes you say “aw,” here are some more “light-hearted” facts about the History of Valentine’s Day.
- The most famous theory about Valentine’s Day’s origin is that St. Valentine, a Catholic priest, secretly married couples after Roman Emperor Claudius II created a law that soldiers could not marry. St. Valentine was eventually captured and executed for these marriages. He signed the last letter he wrote “from your Valentine.”
- Each year, thousands of romantics flood Verona, Italy with love letters addressed to “Juliet” as a tribute to the Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Verona is the location of the infamous tale and any letters that reach the city are responded to by a team of volunteers. On Valentine’s Day, the Juliet Club awards the “Cara Giuletta” (“Dear Juliet”) award to the writer with the most touching love letter.
- In the 19th century, Richard Cadbury jumped at the opportunity to start the tradition of giving a box of chocolate to your Valentine as a new technique to sell different varieties of chocolate. I’d like to think that this idea came as a suggestion from his amazing PR team at the time.
- The first Valentine in history was written from prison. Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote a poem to his wife while he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt. He ended up being a prisoner for more than 20 years, so he would never get to see his Valentine’s reaction to his letter.
While these fun facts still might not have you feeling the love this weekend, you can celebrate in another way by saying “Happy 109th Birthday” to America’s forever valentine – Arizona.