Valentine’s Day – a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. True, but not for everyone. There are those who love Valentine’s Day, exuberantly marking the day in red in their calendar months in advance. And then there are those who would rather hide in a dark corner and wait for the 15th to come around. Wherever you stand, one thing’s for sure: there’s no getting around Valentine’s Day. The whole world goes crazy and all day long it’s one big sea of red hearts.
It goes without saying that tastes differ and that individual people will have different opinions about Valentine’s Day. But are there any national differences between different countries? And where does Valentine’s Day come from anyway? We went looking for the answers and have put together some fun facts just for you.
How it all began
The best-known theory about the origin of Valentine’s Day takes us back to the time of Claudius II. According to legend, the Roman emperor had prohibited marriage in times of war. But Bishop Valentine defied the order and secretly married couples – leading to his arrest. While in prison, he wrote a letter to his jailor’s daughter that was signed “Your Valentine”.
So who invented it?
The French capital of Paris is widely considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. So it comes as no surprise that Valentine cards originated with a Frenchman. While a prisoner in the Tower of London, Charles of Orléans wrote letters to his wife expressing his love for her. Today people all over the world write love letters – especially on Valentine’s Day.
First comes love, then comes marriage…
Did you know? On average, 220,000 marriage proposals are made on Valentine’s Day every year.
So how about a romantic weekend in Prague for the next step in your relationship?
Romance in the summer
In Russia, the big day for lovers isn’t on 14 February, but on 8 July. The Day of Saints Peter and Fevronia celebrates a legendary couple whose love and fidelity overcame popular opposition.
Valentine’s Day is usually for people, but this shouldn’t keep us from expressing our affection for our animal companions. In 2015, Americans spent $ 703 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets. Do you want to treat your four-legged friend to something nice? How about a little trip? Vienna House welcomes dogs.
Three months of love
South Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day in many different ways – and on many different days. On 14 February, women present chocolate gifts to men. On 14 March, known as White Day, it’s the other way around. And on 14 April, or Black Day, singles get together to eat black noodles.