Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
9:01 PM 13th February 2020

Love Is In The Air

Celebrated on February 14th each year Valentine's Day, the Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentine's Day is a day when all around the world cards, chocolates, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones.

How did it all start?

It originated as a feast day to honour the early saints named Valentinus and recognised as a cultural and commercial celebration around the world. It was an annual holiday, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

credit love-comments-myspace
credit love-comments-myspace
There is a legend that Saint Valentine of Rome, while he was imprisoned and before his death on 14th February, wrote a farewell letter to the daughter of his jailer and signed it "your Valentine".

Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century first associated the day with romantic love when courtly love flourished as a tradition.

By the 18th century in England it became an occasion to express love by giving chocolates, flowers and greeting cards.

In Europe keys were given as a romantic symbol to unlock the heart.

In the Middle Ages Valentine became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 wrote the oldest valentine known to be in existence today. It was written to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

King Henry V sent a valentine note to Catherine of Valois several years later, but he employed John Lydgate, a writer to compose it for him.

Why hearts as a symbol of love?

There are lots of symbols to represent love such as roses, cupid and hearts.

The shape of a heart is often seen on cards and chocolates come in heart shaped boxes, but why did the heart become the symbol of love.

The human heart has long been associated with emotion and as it is the centre of the human body it became the symbol of love since love is a strong emotion.

Some Valentine's Day facts:

1 in 2 people plan to spend money for Valentine's Day.

Every year more than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolates are sold across the country.

February 14th is the second largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas.

Around 1 billion cards will be exchanged around the world.

Men tend to spend twice as much as women on gifts.

Roses are the most popular flower for Valentine's Day as they were the favourite flower of the goddess Venus.

Some Valentine's Day statistics:

Over 32 million (61%) of Brits will be spending money on their loved ones this Valentine’s Day and a further 9.4 million will celebrate the day without spending anything.

According to research by Finder UK £1.45 billion will be spent on gifts in 2020 which works out at £35.06 per person.

An average of £44.24 is spent by men while women only spend £26.24.

Spoiling your loved one on Valentine’s Day shows no signs of slowing down.

So Happy Valentine's Day everybody!