Valentine's Day: Everything You Need to Know About the Day of Love; Few Fun Facts, Superstitions; Top 4 Last-Minute Gift Ideas

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By jaskiran kaur | February 13, 2014 6:24 PM EST

Valentine's Day is almost here and people around the world are preparing to celebrate the national day of love. Essentially, this day is about expressing your love and affection for your Valentine. It is the time when couples think of a way to express love to each other and singles curse their luck. Roses, chocolates, dinner dates and gifts are essential items in celebration of the day of love. But there is more to this day. Here are few facts and everything you need to know about Valentine's Day. Scroll down to find top 4 last-minute gift ideas for your love.

Valentine's Day: Everything You Need to Know (Facts)

Valentine's Day has its roots in the stories of Saint Valentine who is said to be the third century Roman saint. He is honored on Feb. 14 which is also referred to Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.

Not much is known about Saint Valentine except that he died on Feb. 14 in Via Flaminia in Rome and the day of love is celebrated on his martyrdom day.

According to the famous legend, during his reign Emperor Claudius II prohibited marriage as he believed that single men are better warriors. Despite such prohibition, Saint Valentine continued to perform marriages in a clandestine manner. When Claudius II came to know about the violation of his rules by Saint Valentine, he ordered imprisonment for him.

More legends claim that Saint Valentine treated an ailment of the daughter of the jailer. Before his execution he wrote a note to the daughter and signed it as "from Your Valentine."

This day is celebrated by various churches in different manners. For instance, this day is a feast day in the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church. But there is a conflict of sorts in regards to the identification of Saint Valentine as it is not clear whether Saint Valentine was just one or two saints with the same name.

There are several stories associated to Valentine's Day. According to a very strange legend, it is said that the girls of medieval times consumed strange food on this day believing it will make them visualize their future spouse in their dreams.

More stories reveal that the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeves" originated from beliefs associated to this day. During the Middle Age era, men and women picked names of each other from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. And then they would wear this name pinned to their sleeve for as long as one week.

It is a well-known fact that Cupid is the symbol of love or Valentine's Day. According to the mythology of ancient Greece, he is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. He is also known as Eros. And according to Roman mythology, he is the son of Venus the goddess associated with love and beauty.  

 Valentine's Day: Fun Facts

Chocolates, flowers and greeting cards are key elements in the celebration of modern day Valentine's Day. They are widely used as items for gifts for lovers. There are some interesting facts associated to these items.

The first Valentine's Day chocolate box was invented by Richard Cadbury in late 1800s. It is said that more than 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold during the Valentine's Day celebrations. Prior to this, in 1800s, physicians recommended chocolates as healing substance to their patients who suffered from heartbreak.

Greeting cards are considered to be the best way to express your love and gratitude. Greeting cards consisting of love notes became  popular in the 17th century. But the oldest greeting card for a valentine was penned by Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415. He was caged in the tower of London when he wrote this message to his wife and it is now preserved in London's British Library.

Flowers and Roses are other items widely given as gifts. It is said that the red rose was the favorite flower of the Roman goddess of love named Venus. Since the color red is attributed to passion and romance, the red rose is considered to be the flower of love. It is also said that more than 70% of flowers sold for Valentine's Day are bought by men and less than 30% are bought by women.  

According to aboutflowers.com, an estimated number of 233 million roses were produced for Valentine's Day in the year 2013. And, statistics by Greeting Cards Association suggest that 145 million units of cards were purchased for Valentine's Day in 2013.

Valentine's Day Superstitions

According to stvalentinesday.org, there are some superstitions that are associated with this day. It is said that girls must be careful of watching birds that day. According to the superstition, the kind of bird a girl watches predicts the kind of husband she will have. If a girl watches a sparrow, her husband could be a poor man. If a girl watches an owl, she would remain a spinster. A bluebird suggests a happy man and a blackbird suggests that her husband could be a priest or clergyman. And if she sees a crossbill that means she will have an "argumentative" man.

Some more superstitions as listed on stvalentinesday.org suggest that if you wake up with a kiss on Valentine's Day it is considered lucky. It is also said that the first name of a man that you read in the newspaper or hear on radio or TV will be the name of the man you will tie the knot with.  

Top 4 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Everyone loves to receive a gift on Valentine's Day. There is no reason to disappoint your loved one and leave them empty handed on the day they deserve to be treated with a surprise. So, even if you have forgotten to buy one for your Valentine, here are four easy, last-minute gift ideas to make your valentine feel loved and cared for.

1.    Relive the Memories: Nothing is more pleasing than telling your loved one that you remember each and everything from you first date or the day you proposed to him or her. Pick a memorable spot and take your Valentine on a surprise trip. Tell them how and why you remember the day and the spot.

2.    DIY Gift: if you could spare a few moments, make an easy homemade or do-it-yourself gift. For instance, you can make you own sharpie mug in less than 30 minutes. You can also make a collage of your pictures from a memorable date.

3.   Make Chocolates or Bake a Cake: Homemade chocolates or a cake is the best gift to please your Valentine. They display your painstaking efforts and can be relished in a sweet moment together.

4.  A Dinner Date: Valentine's Day is incomplete without a date with good food. Surprise them by taking them to their favourite restaurant. But make sure to make a reservation at least a few hours before you head out to the place. Also, you can prepare a special meal at your home and surprise them with a treat while you both spend some quality alone time.

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