19 Things You May or May Not Already Know About Valentine’s Day
It’s that time of year again. The time of year we are inundated with commercials and TV shows that’s sole purpose is to guilt us into spending our hard earned cash on chocolate and overpriced greeting cards. Or in my case, the latest in adult oriented toys that vibrate. But I digress. Below are 19 things you may or may not already know about Valentine’s Day. Enjoy. Or don’t.
- According to the condom company Durex, condom sales are highest around Valentine’s Day, which are 20 percent to 30 percent higher than usual.
- More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month which is a pretty strong testament to the reliability of Durex.
- Penicillin, a popular treatment for venereal diseases such as syphilis, was introduced to the world on February 14, 1929. *cough* Durex *cough*
- Teachers receive the most valentines, followed by kids, mothers, wives and sweethearts which may help account for the increase in student-teacher relations. Just sayin’.
- The roots of St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year. Equally creepy, the men would also strip naked and spank young maidens in hopes of upping their fertility. I guess they hadn’t quite yet figured out that’s not how babies were made.
- For every 120 single men who are in their 20s, there are 100 single women in the same age range.
- Beyond 65, there are 33 single men for every 100 single women of the same age range. I’m still trying to figure the math out on this one.
- 15% of US women send flowers to themselves.
- More than nine million pet owners are expected to buy gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day which isn’t nearly as pathetic as sending flowers to yourself.
- In the middle Ages, people believed that the first unmarried person of the opposite sex you met on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day would become your spouse. I may be a little late to work today as I’ll be stopping by Fire Station 19 on the way.
- One theory regarding the origin of Valentine’s Day is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to bolster his army, he forbade young men to marry. In the spirit of love, St. Valentine defied the ban and performed secret marriages. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14.
- In 2011, Iran banned Valentine cards, gifts, teddy bears, and other Valentine tokens as part of an Islamic republic backlash against the spread of Western culture. Additionally, some religious activists in India and Pakistan protest Valentine’s Day as a day of shame of lust. They view it as a Western holiday in which Westerners satisfy their “sex thirst.” Mmm, sex thirst.
- Ironically, India celebrates Children’s Day on November 14th, 9 months after Valentine’s Day.
- Valentine’s Day is also banned in Saudi Arabia. Nothing red can be worn or sold on Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia.
- “Quirkyalone Day” is celebrated on February 14 as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. It is geared toward people who “resist the tyranny of coupledom.” Another alternate Valentine’s Day celebration is SAD (Single Awareness Day), which reminds people that they don’t need to be in a relationship to celebrate life. Yes, let’s help end of the stigma of singles on VD by calling them quirky, alone, and SAD. Strong work.
- Saint Valentine is the patron saint of lovers and engaged couples. He is also the patron saint of epilepsy (which he is said to have suffered), plague, greetings, travelers, young people, and bee keepers.
- You can make special Valentine’s reservations at White Castle and other fast food places. Klassy.
- Each year the city of Verona Italy receives more than 1000 valentine’s addressed to Shakespeare’s Juliet. It is said that each year, Juliet, will rise from her non-existent grave (because, you know, she’s not actually real) and make sweet love to one lucky valentine sender. Ok, I made that last part up.
- On Valentine’s Day 1929, at the height of prohibition, Al Capone ordered the killing of members of a rival gang run by Bugs Moran in Chicago. Nothin’ says lovin’ like a bullet to the head. Which is pretty much what I feel like having every February 14th?
Happy VD, ya’ll! May your day be filled with unrealistic expectations, latex, and vodka.
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