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1) Valentine's Day evolved from what ancient Roman festival?

Valentine's Day is believed to have it's roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Sometime around 496, Pope Gelasius I renamed this pagan festival Valentine's Day and moved it to February 14.

2) Statistically, a woman who purchases flowers on Valentine's Day is most likely buying them for ...?

According to the Ipsos-Insight for the American Floral Endowment's Consumer Tracking Study (2004), when a woman buys flowers on Valentine's Day she is most often buying them for herself (27%). Other common recipients include her mother (23%), her significant other (18%), her daughter (8%) or a friend (7%).

3) How many Valentine Cards are sent each year?

The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentine cards are sent world-wide each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas.

4) St. Valentine was put to death at the order of what Roman emperor?

Although there were several St. Valentines, most scholars believe Valentine's Day was intended to honor a priest who attracted the displeasure of the Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. Claudius had come to the conclusion that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for all young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of this decree, defied the order and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius II had him put to death.

5) In which of Shakespeare's plays does he refer to Valentine's Day?

Shakespeare refers to Valentine's Day in Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 5) when Ophelia sings:

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

6) Cupid, the mischievous winged child, has become associated with Valentine's Day because his arrows pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love. Who was Cupid's mother?

Cupid's mother was, appropriately, Venus--the Goddess of Love. The identity of his father is less clear. Seneca says that Vulcan, as the husband of Venus, is the father of Cupid. Cicero, however, claims that Cupid's father is either Mercury or Mars.

7) What percentage of Valentine Cards are purchased by women?

The Greeting Card Association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. Apparently, women really are more thoughtful!

8) What percentage of roses purchased on Valentine's Day are red?

According to the Ipsos-Insight for the American Floral Endowment's Consumer Tracking Study (2004), of roses purchased on Valentine's Day, 69% are red, 6% pink, 6% peach/salmon, 5% yellow, 4% white, 7% mixed colors and 4% other.

9) The popular heart-shaped valentine candies with sweet sayings printed on them have been made by NECCO since 1902. How many new sayings did NECCO add for Valentine's Day, 2004?

NECCO added ten new sayings to their Sweethearts Conversations Hearts for Valentine's Day, 2004. The new sayings were:

3 Wishes
Ever After
New You
Charm Me
Start Now
New Love
I ♥ You

10) During the 1980s, what industry began to promote their product as a good Valentine's Day gift?

Starting in the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as occasion for the giving of fine jewelry. Chocolate and NECCO wafers have been around for well over a century, and E-Cards didn't become popular until the 1990s.