Thursday Thirteen #23: Valentine's Trivia
1. 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
2. 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women (I'm one of those, but shhhh, don't tell my husband yet!)
3. About 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year. That's the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
4. About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets. (I would, but I have yet to find a Happy Valentine's day for a tropical fish!)5. Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine's Day. (Including Penny Dreadfuls? see below--by now, they'd be Dollar Dreadfuls, at least!)
6. Humorous valentines of the 19th century were called "Vinegar Valentines" or "Penny Dreadfuls." Vinegar Valentines were introduced in 1858 by John McLaughin, a Scotsman with a New York City Publishing Business. Penny Dreadfuls with comic designs drawn in 1870 by American cartoonists Charles Howard became known as Penny Dreadfuls.
7. In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day card.
8. In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"
9. Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
10. In the 17th century a hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's eve. It was believed this would make her dream of her future husband. (or deviled eggs, whichever came first!)
11. Valentine's Day is big business. Consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine's Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers expect to rack up about $650 million in sales of food, candy, flowers, and other Valentine's Day gifts. Of that amount about $350 million will be for gifts and flowers and another $45 million will be spent on food (including chocolate) and wine.12. The oldest surviving love poem is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C. It was unromantically named Istanbul #2461 by the archaeologists who unearthed it. (wonder what it said?!)
13. In the United States, 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine's Day with their sweethearts. (If you're one of them, and you're reading this, stop now, and get busy planning some romance for tonight!)
Happy TT, and Happy Valentine's Day!
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