Giving flowers and chocolates seems like the norm on Valentine’s Day, but what’s the secret behind it all? Why do give specific gifts and what is the mystery behind Valentine’s Day? Here are five fun Valentine’s Day facts that you probably never knew.
Back in the Victorian days, flowers were everything. People would express their emotions through floriography – the language of flowers. If you gave someone a certain flower, it would convey a specific message and red roses meant romantic intent. This carries on in modern day times, and roses are often associated with the holiday.
It’s all due to Richard Cadbury – the founder of the Cadbury company. He and his brother took over the business and found a way to add pure cocoa butter into the company’s chocolate drink. Cadbury designed beautiful boxes for chocolates and even made special ones for Valentine’s Day with cupids and roses. It’s disputed that he made the first heart-shaped candy box, so Mr Cadbury is the one to blame.
During the mid 1700s, handwritten notes were a common custom during Valentine’s Day in England. As technology began to evolve, ready-made cards became the norm as it made it easier to fill out whilst still being sincere. It spread to America after Esther Howland decided to make cards just as pretty as the British ones in the 1840s. Now, cards are everywhere during Valentine’s Day.
Doves are hugely associated with Valentine’s Day, but birds are often associated with the holiday. Geoffrey Chaucer made the connection first during a poem he wrote during the fourteenth century. February 14 is known for the start of the spring mating season for birds which solidifies the term.
WHAT IT’S LIKE IN JAPAN
Japan turns the tide with women spending the most and men receiving the gifts. A chocolate company named Morozoff introduced the concept in Japan during the 1930s. It caught on and women give gifts on February 14th, and men reciprocate the gifts exactly a month later in March.
Words by Kat Howard