Top 5 Facts About Valentine’s Day

A lot of people have February 14th circled in the calendar. Couples, potential couples, chocolatiers, restaurant owners, card store workers, and rose vendors.

Of course, that day is Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. It is a day to show love and affection to the special people in our lives, typically through the exchange of cards, flowers, and gifts. And let’s not forget the sappy Instagram posts and romantic gestures.

If you are introducing Valentine’s Day to your class, here are some great stories and facts to share, courtesy of ThinkFives.


The origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February. During this festival, men would draw the names of women from a box and be paired with them for the duration of the festival.

This festival was eventually replaced by the Christian holiday of Saint Valentine’s Day, named after a martyr named Saint Valentine. Yeah, it’s kind of like a mix between matchmaking and honoring a martyr.

The Saint

Saint Valentine, also known as Valentinus, was a real historical figure who lived in the 3rd century AD. He was a Catholic priest and it is believed that he was executed by Emperor Claudius II for secretly marrying couples who were forbidden to wed.

He is also believed to have been a miracle worker who helped heal the sick. Saint Valentine’s actions were seen as a defiance of the Emperor’s rule, making him a symbol of love and sacrifice. He was later canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church and celebrated as the patron saint of love, courtship, and happy marriages. He was a tough guy who stood up for love.

US Traditions

In the United States, Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated by couples who exchange cards, flowers, and gifts with each other. Many couples go out for romantic dinners at fancy restaurants and exchange chocolates and jewelry. Some people also give flowers to their loved ones; roses are a popular choice as they symbolize love and passion.

Additionally, some people celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending anonymous cards or gifts to a secret admirer, a tradition known as “Valentine’s Day Loves Notes.” Many schools and workplaces also participate in Valentine’s Day celebrations by exchanging small gifts or cards among classmates and colleagues.

Another popular tradition is to have a Valentine’s Day dance or party, mainly in schools and colleges, where students can celebrate the day with music, food, and games. Some couples also choose to celebrate the day by going on a romantic vacation or weekend getaway.

World Traditions

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, but the traditions and customs vary. 

In France, Valentine’s Day is known as La Saint-Valentin and it is a day for couples to express their love and affection to each other. Couples typically exchange cards, flowers, and gifts, and often go out for romantic dinners or picnics. It is also common for couples to exchange chocolates and jewelry as gifts. Some people also give their loved ones a red rose, a traditional symbol of love and passion.

In Italy, Valentine’s Day is known as La Festa degli Innamorati and it is celebrated in a similar way to France. Couples exchange cards, flowers, and gifts, and often go out for romantic dinners or picnics. In addition, some people also give their loved ones a heart-shaped box of chocolates or a bouquet of red and white flowers. In some cities, there are also romantic events organized such as music concerts, and special dinners in restaurants.

In Japan, women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, while men give gifts to women on a separate holiday called White Day, which is celebrated one month later. In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by both men and women, and couples often exchange gifts and go out for romantic dates. It’s a global love-fest.

Fun facts about Valentine’s Day include:

  • Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. Basically, it’s a big deal.
  • The first Valentine’s Day candy box was created in 1868 by a man named Richard Cadbury. So, chocolates have been a part of Valentine’s Day for a long time.
  • The red rose is the traditional flower of Valentine’s Day, symbolizing love and passion. So, if you’re getting roses, it’s a pretty good sign.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day is the second-biggest holiday for consumer spending, behind only Christmas. In 2020, Americans were expected to spend a total of $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts, decorations, and activities.
  • It is estimated that more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold in the United States alone on Valentine’s Day.
  • According to a study by the website Zoosk, the most popular day for people to sign up for online dating is January 7th, followed by February 14th.
  • Valentine’s Day is not just for romantic couples, it’s also a day to celebrate platonic love and friendship. Many people give cards and gifts to friends, family, and children on this day.

Do you do any fun activities with your class for Valentines Day?


  1. I have fond memories of filling out Valentine cards for my classmates and making sure I gave each classmate an appropriate one. I love watching my students now do the same. ❤️

  2. While I’m not a huge “lover” of Valentine’s Day, I did always love sharing the idea of love and care (not romantic love) for all. The exchange of Valentines in class always showed that thought. So sweet! ❤️

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