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Where does Valentine's Day Come from?

Valentine's Day wasn't always about cards and candy hearts. In fact, it is believed to have originated as a Roman holiday called Lupercalia, in which naked men flogged women with goat- or dog-skin whips in hopes of making them fertile. It became linked to love when Christian leaders connected the holiday to the life of St. Valentine, who performed marriages at a time when they were illegal and was martyred for his actions.

More facts about Valentine's Day:

  • People who celebrate Valentine's Day in the United States spend an average of more than $100 US Dollars each on gifts, meals and entertainment.

  • Approximately 200 million Valentine's Day cards are sent through the mail every year — and that doesn't count all of the cards exchanged by schoolchildren.

  • About eight billion candy hearts are made and sold every year for Valentine's Day.

Discussion Comments

By Euroxati — On May 04, 2014

Just wondering about the Roman holiday called Lupercalia, but is this where the fictional lover "Cupid" originated from? After all, he's a naked man and he tries to get others to fall in love, right?

By RoyalSpyder — On May 03, 2014

While the bullet point facts about Valentine's Day are certainly interesting, what caught my attention the most were the possible origins. It's really quite disturbing when you think about it. Who would have ever thought that a day about love and candied hearts originated from a time where (naked) men tried beating women into fertility?

By Hazali — On May 02, 2014

To be perfectly honest, it doesn't surprise me that so many people spend lots of money on Valentine's day. It's one of those rare moments that only comes around once a year, and everyone tries to make the best of it. However, there is such a thing as overdoing it. It's really amazing the lengths some people will go for their loved ones, and for special days like these.

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