15 Facts About Valentine's Day You Should Know

Posted Jun 03, by Val Liarikos

In Japan, Valentine's day is usually the female's responsibility. White Day, on March 14th, is the man's turn to reciprocate

On Valentine's day, women give men chocolate gifts. This is supposed to be an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. A hand-made chocolate is considered to be a sign that the man who receives it is the woman's "only one."

Starting in 1978, White Day was promoted by the National Confectionary Industry Association. It is supposed to be the answer day to Valentine's. Traditional gifts on this day are cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows. The often cited rule is that the gift on this day should be three times as expensive as the one received on Valentine's.

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You can make special Valentine's reservations at White Castle and other fast food places

This trend probably started as an ironic protest on the commercial aspect of a day that's supposed to be about love. However, it's become so popular that the fast food chain closes down their restaurants on this occasion and they only let people in who have reservations!

Not to be outdone, other cheap fast food places are doing the same. Waffle House is taking reservations, some Chick-fil-As are doing it as well. Pizza Hut is going all out. They're offering a proposal package for $10,010 for 10 couples. It comes with a $10 Pizza Hut dinner box. The other $10,000? A ruby ring, a videographer, limo service, a fireworks show and a photographer.

Did you do any of these? Tell us in the comments!

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Valentine's Day is banned in Saudi Arabia.

The nation has a religious police force that uphold the annual ban with support from the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Everything related to the holiday is prohibited - candy, flowers, gifts...even the color red! It's outlawed based on a fatwa, or Islamic legal ruling, against pagan holidays. They may have a good point. Even though the holiday often has the word "Saint" preceding it, most of the Valentine's day traditions are rooted in a pagan fertility celebration. (Learn more about Valentine\'s Day's origins)

The Saudi officials have recently reminded its citizens about the ban in lieu of the growing popularity of the holiday in the Arab world. Retailers, restaurants, and hotels in the region in particular have been aggressively promoting the holiday, which is really good for business.
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There are actually 2 St. Valentines whose feast day it is today.

Seems that the apostrophe on St. Valentine's is written one letter too soon. While numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine, two are being celebrated by the Catholic Church today. One is Valentine of Rome, who was a Roman priest martyred around the year AD 269. His relics are displayed in a Church in Rome and Dublin.

The second is Valentine of Terni, who was the bishop of Interama around the year AD 197. He was martyred by Emperor Aurelian. Both Saints were buried on Via Flaminia, in Rome. Valentine of Terni's relics are in display at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni. There is a third St. Valentine mentioned in early martyrologies but not much is known about him. 

Interestingly, neither Saints' histories mention any romantic elements in their biographies. The first romantic association with Valentine's Day didn't happen until the year 1382.

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Nothing red can be worn or sold on Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia.

Every February 14th, florists in Saudi Arabia are actually putting away their red roses and store owners are taking down anything that’s red, heart –shaped, or vaguely Valentine’s Day-ish. These things are done at the order of the “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” otherwise known as the Religious Police.

The penalty for daring to defy these orders is the store being shut down. People are also not supposed to wear anything red on Valentine’s Day. If they do, they will be denied entry into school, work, stores, or wherever they have to go. The reasoning behind all this is that it discourages people from celebrating this holiday, which in the country is associated with out-of-wedlock contact between men and women.

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Valentine, Nebraska has a special "Cupid's Mailbox" that forwards your cards with a special Valentine's stamp

It's too late now, but if you want to give your beautiful love letter a little extra *something* for Valentine's day, you may want to try sending it to this town in Nebraska.

The town has a special series of cancellation stamps that relate to the St. Valentine's day. What people do is they send them their love mail inside larger envelopes. The town will open the large envelopes, stamp your love letter and send it with a special Valentine stamp on it. 

The deadline is usually February 5th. What you need to do is put your valentine card (with postage and everything!) inside a bigger envelope and send it to "Cupid's Mailbox" PO Box 201, Valentine, NE 69201. 

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Update: Barbie and Ken got back together this past Valentine's Day.

You read earlier from us that the 'it' couple among all toys broke up back in 2004 after a 43-year relationship. Well, as of this past February they're back together, and Ken has really lived up to his new moniker - "Sweet Talkin' Ken"!

Unless you were creepily paying attention, you may not have realized how much this ordeal had escalated recently. Ken had even gone to such lengths as buying billboard space in New York and Los Angeles to publicly profess his undying love for his plastic princess! His messages read "Barbie, you are the only doll for me" and "Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real." And if you were REALLY paying attention you would have noticed such things as Ken checking in on Foursquare at New York's Magnolia Bakery to purchase cupcakes for his cupcake or the two flirting up a storm on Facebook, on which they have subsequently updated their relationship status...of course.

You can read more about this from, surprisingly, CNN Money.

India celebrates Children's Day on November 14th, 9 months after Valentine's day

Although completely unrelated to today's holiday, it's a funny coincidence to that India would celebrate a holiday dedicated to emphasize the importance of giving love and affection to children.

The holiday in India is celebrated that day because it's the birthday of the country's first Prime Minister, Jawaharial Nehru. Indian kids called him Uncle Nehry. His affection for kids inspired the holiday. 

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South Koreans mourn a loveless February and March by eating black noodles.

South Koreans have a romance-related day for every 14th day of the month. For February 14th, the day recognized as Valentine’s Day in many countries around the world, women give chocolate to the men. In the same way, men give candy to women on March 14th, though not chocolate. 

Those that do not receive any candy drown their sorrows on April 14th, mourning being forever alone. This day is referred to as Black Day and singles go to eat black noodles at a restaurant. These noodles represent the woe of singleness. 

Other countries have their own Valentines traditions. In Norfolk, UK, Jack Valentine leaves sweets for children on Valentine’s Day. In other countries such as Denmark and Norway, Valentine’s Day is less celebrated and more of a copy of the American version of Valentine’s Day. 

In Latin America, the day is expanded to include love for friends, and so friends are added to the gift-giving and kind thoughts. Traditions vary widely. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day or do you think it’s just a commercialized holiday? 

A study found a significant increase in the number of births during St. Valentine's day

C-sections are allowing women to have their babies on their schedule nowadays. Because of that, it's not surprising that women may be picking certain dates over other dates to have their kids. A recent study of US birth certificates on a 10-year period suggests that women; whether through c-section or other more natural means, might be picking Valentine's day to have their kids.

The study found that there were 4% more birthdays on Valentine's day than there were on any day in the surrounding 2 weeks. Interestingly, they found a similar change on another holiday, months later. There were 5% LESS births on Halloween than in any other day surrounding it. 

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Male mice sing ultrasonic 'love ballads' as a means of trying to court females.

Who says chivalry is dead? Wale mice make females swoon with their ultrasonic love songs a new study suggests. However, even in the mouse world, the music industry is competitive. Scientists are not certain what makes a “hit love song” in the mice world. Author Kerstin Musolf told Discovery News that “it could be a question of different syllable types or endurance in singing or a combination of both.”

According to an Austrian study, when males get a whiff of scent from available, non-related, adult females, they begin singing out at varying degrees. Females were more attracted to songs crooned by unfamiliar males that weren’t related to them. Sometimes, the females return the romantic gesture by cleaning themselves, vigorously all over.

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It only takes 1/5 of a second to fall in love

Researchers recently turned brain scanners on people to find out the effects of love on brain. Their findings? The time it takes for a person to fall in love is about one-fifth of a second. 

They also found that 12 areas of the brain work together during the love process. They found that love's effect on your brain is a high similar to the rush people get from cocaine!

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Scientists estimate that you'll fall in love 7 times before you get married!

According to studies, the average person will fall in love an average of seven times before they decide to tie the knot. Falling out of love that many times may make it difficult because it often leads to 'frustration attraction' which is when the person that is broken up with feels even more attracted to the person that dumped him.

What's worse, even after that average of 7 times, that marriage might not even last! The divorce rate for the United States is at around 50% and it's rising every year. Check out this article for advice in how to avoid the ways in which people bring down their relationships

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When you fall in love you lose two close friends.

Researchers at Oxford University conducted a survey asking people to describe their close circle of friends, and compared the difference between people who were in romantic relationships.

On average, when asked to list the members of their core group of friends, people name 5 friends. People in romantic relationships could only name an average of 4 close relationships. That's an average net loss of 1 person in your friend circle as a result of adding a new person into your life. Typically this means that you lose 2 friends from your group of 5 and then add your new lover to get to a total of 4.

This core group consists of people that you see at least once a week. You may of course have many more peripheral friends. Adding a new lover into the mix will force you to budget your time differently, forcing you to lose touch with an average of 2 people in your core group.

Read more about this study here.

President Harry Truman fell in love with his future wife when he was only 6 years old!

He and Bess Wallace Truman attended Sunday school together when he was 6 and she was 5. President Truman later says that after that they, he wasn't able to stop talking about the "beautiful curly haired girl." 

 

Despite the fact that Bess did not immediately accept Harry's feelings in the beginning, he was persistent until they finally got married. Harry Truman later said that he had never even thought of loving another woman in his life. 

 

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