Valentine's Day has been a part of my life since I was small, but I never really knew much about it. Do you? Here's 10 things you never knew about this holiday.
1. Valentine's Day has kinky roots
Valentine's Day originates from an ancient Roman tradition called Lupercalia. Lupercalia was held annually on February 15 and involved young men stripping to their birthday suits and running around spanking (!!!) young maidens in to boost their fertility.
2. It's not just for the human love's in your life
About 3 per cent of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.
3. And it's definitely not just for lovers
4. In the Far east they make Valentine's last the whole year!
In South Korea, the 14th of every month marks a romantic holiday:
- Candle Day in January
- Valentine's Day in February (here it's the men who are treated to Chocolates by their women on Valentine's day as a token of affection and appreciation)
- White Day in March (where the men reciprocate their Valentine's gifts)
- Black Day (a sad holiday where singles eat a black-bean paste noodle dish called jjajangmyun and wish they had a love interest) in April
- Rose Day in May
- Kiss Day in June
- Silver Day in July
- Green Day in August (this one involves getting drunk and wandering through the woods?)
- Music Day in September
- Wine Day in October (that one sounds good!)
- Movie Day in November
- Hug Day in December (ahh!)
Here Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä, which translates into "Friend's day". It's more about remembering your buddies than your loved ones. The official flower is the pink rose, but mates are happy to receive gifts, cards or candy, too.
6. Kisses are not actually very romantic
In medieval times people who couldn't write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.
7. There is another (more romantic) origin to valentines day
The story goes that Emperor Claudius II didn't want Roman men to marry during wartime, Bishop Valentine went against this wish and performed secret weddings.
8. St Valentine isn't the only romantic saint
Brazilians skip the February 14 celebrations and instead commemorate Saint Anthony, the patron saint of marriage and matchmaking, on June 12.
9. Valentine's day has it's very own Santa in Norfolk
Jack Valentine knocks on the door and leaves presents on the step to be collected by the expectant child on Valentine's eve.
10. Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate love story
Every Valentine's Day Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
Happy Valentine's Day
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