Best day of the year or day of dread? A day to show your love or should you do that every day of the year? Whatever your opinion on Valentine’s day is, we’ve gathered some Valentine’s day facts for you;
- The custom in Japan is for women to give men hand-made chocolate gifts on Valentine’s Day, while men reciprocate on the following day (White Day) by gifting a present that is three times as valuable as the gift they received on the 14th of February.
- In Seoul and throughout South Korea, women give chocolate to men on the 14th of February. On the 14th of March, men show their love by gifting candy to their girlfriends and wives. All the single ladies and men who did not receive any candy or chocolate grieve on the 14th of April (aka Black Day) by going out and eating black noodles.
- Valentine’s day is banned in Saudi Arabia. Gifts such as flowers, chocolates or presents is forbidden, and companies in the retail and hospitality industry are discouraged from promoting the holiday. Furthermore, people are not allowed to wear any red clothing; selling red objects on this day is likewise prohibited.
- Legend has it that Venus, the goddess of love, favoured red roses above all other flowers which is why its traditional to send red roses on valentine’s day.
- One of the most popular stories outlining the origins of Valentine’s Day dates to 270 A.D. during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II who prohibited marriage because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine disregarded the Emperor's wishes and continued to marry couples in secret until he was caught and thrown in jail for treason. He was executed on the 14th of February, which is why we celebrate St. Valentine's every year on this date.
- Every 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
- In Denmark and Norway it is tradition to send “Gaekkebrev” which are funny little poems or rhyming love notes that men send to women anonymously, giving them only a clue as to the number of letters in the senders name. The recipient must then guess the sender, if they guess correctly they win an Easter egg on Easter later that year. If the recipient guesses wrongly then they owe the sender an Easter egg instead.