Thursday Thirteen #23: Valentine's Trivia

In honor of St. Valentine's Day, here is some trivia you may not know:

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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Comments

Nicholas said…
Wow! The cards and candy manufacturers have got us right where they want us!

Even though I'm one of the 64% who don't plan anything, i have a free pass because my wife and I don't do Valentines Day. Someone else will have to spend my $77.43!
Sandy Carlson said…
I read recently that more than 80 percent of cards are bought by women. I guess we get the better end of the deal if the men are buying flowers!
I had no idea how big Valentine's day was commercially speaking. Yikes. Great information. Have a wonderful TT and Valentine's Day. )
SJ Reidhead said…
Fascinating!

SJR
The Pink Flamingo
http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog
Lori said…
I found fact #1 even more interesting after I read fact #9. Seems to me, gold finches, at some point would have become all the rage (smile).
tasha said…
Good stuff! We don't spend our $77.73 either...guess that means someone else spends more! Happy TT!
Harris Channing said…
Great list. I love the one from Wales, "You unlock my heart". SWEET!

Thanks and Happy Valentines Day.

~Harris.
Joyismygoal said…
Good post thanks for warning all the men:>