14 Valentine's Day facts that even cynics will love

Think St Valentine’s Day is a load of commercial cobblers? Think again

As part of its romantic #senditwithlove campaign, soft-hearted London-based international couriers ParcelHero.com have unearthed 14 Valentine’s Day statistics for us that reveal why everyone likes to send gifts to the person they love on February 14th. They’re also offering the chance to win two tickets to fly to Rome - see below for details.

1. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named after a Christian martyr, St Valentine, and dates back to the 5th century. When the Roman army banned its elite soldiers from marriage, legend has it that Valentine married the lovers in secret.

2. Before his execution, Valentine is said to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer, Asterius. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote Julia – who was no longer blind - the first ever ‘Valentine’ card, signing as ‘Your Valentine.’

3. In 1797, London’s love-sick Casanovas could buy The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing cards with verses and sketches, called ‘mechanical valentines’. With cheaper postage in the 1800s it became possible for Londoners to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in the usually prudish Victorian era

4. In the United States, the first mass-produced Valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold around 1847 by Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father.

5. Paper Valentines became so popular in London and throughout the country in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons. In 1835, 60,000 Valentine cards were sent by post in Britain.

6. Today we send one billion cards worldwide. In the US, 145 million cards are sent every Valentines and in the UK, 25 million.

7. It was in the 20th century that cards were supplemented by flowers and chocolates. In the US a total of $18.6bn is spent for Valentine’s Day, of which $1.6bn is spent on chocolates, $1.9bn is spent on flowers, and $4.4bn is spent on jewellery. In the UK around £1.3bn on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts,

8. London’s lovers spend on average £86.02 on Valentine’s Day. That’s more than anywhere else in the UK. Who said we Londoners are cynics?

9. Evey year around 10% of all marriage proposals happen on the 14th – despite 88% of women believing that Valentine’s Day isn’t the best time to propose.

10. If you decide to ask your date out by text this Valentine’s, you are not alone. Nearly 50% of men now ask women out by text. Sadly, only 15% of men now ask their dates out face-to-face.

11. Don’t forget to mail a card! 83% of women would prefer a handwritten letter or card versus a text or email. Hand written letters are infinitely more romantic. And over 85% of women buy cards on Valentine’s Day.

12. Almost 75% of men remember to buy their other halves flowers on the 14th. The internet makes things easier. You can now purchase flowers with the click of the button or tap of the finger. So, really, there’s no excuse, which leads us to our next statistic…

13. In America, more than half the women say they would dump a boyfriend or partner that fails to produce a Valentine’s Day gift. And divorce filings rise by 40% every year around Valentine’s Day!

14. Almost 70% of single men spend the 14th alone. If you are a women, unfortunately you are in the minority. Only 32% of women spend Valentine’s Day alone.

ParcelHero is offering the chance to win two tickets to fly to Rome as part of their #senditwithlove Valentine’s Facebook competition. ParcelHero is offering the chance to win two tickets to fly to Rome as part of their #senditwithlove Valentine’s Facebook competition. To win a trip to the “eternal city”, plus £250 spending money, all entrants need to do is visit our Facebook page and tell us what is the most romantic thing they have ever done. For full details visit Parcel Hero

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