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Five things you didn’t know about Valentine’s Day

Post Author Take1 / February 10th 2015

When we say Valentine’s Day, what do you think of? – Roses? Chocolates? Lavish meals? They’re the usual answers.

Thing that probably doesn’t enter your mind though is a field of men stripped naked using goat skin whips to spank young women to improve fertility.

But that’s where it all began.

In ancient Rome the 13th, 14th, and 15th of February were celebrated as Lupercalia – a pagan fertility festival where men would take part in the aforementioned whipping.

Today it’s a much more straight forward affair of gift giving; the obligatory exchange of chocolates, roses, and cards between loved up couples. And while it’s a holiday lots of countries around the world recognise, it isn’t one that not many know much about.

So, to help you get a better grasp on what Valentine’s Day we’re going to look at five things you didn’t know about it.

It isn’t all about love

Valentine’s Day is about being loved up, but that isn’t the only thing about. It’s also about neurological disorders and infectious diseases too.

Sort of…

The Catholic Church actually recognises around 10 figures named Saint Valentine. Each of these saints has their own feast day. The Saint Valentine is a patron saint of a whole host of things including love, engaged couples, and happy marriages. But he’s also the saint of bee keepers, plague, fainting, and epilepsy.

It’s a dangerous day

It’s thought that the number of homicides and acts of violence towards women goes up preceding and following Valentine’s day compared to most other times of the year.

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day

While much of the Western world enjoys Valentine’s Day there are some countries that aren’t so keen on it. In Pakistan it’s a shameful day; in India a Hindu group built a bonfire fuelled by Valentine’s Day cars. In Saudi Arabia it isn’t popular either. But there people in these countries that are determined to enjoy and celebrate everything the day brings!

It isn’t just for humans

For many, pets are more than just pets, they’re family members too. That’s why so many people treat their pets on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s thought that this year Americans will spend around $703 Million on gifts for their beloved animals. That’s around £462 Million!

The Chinese celebrate an alternate version

The Qixi Festival is a celebration of love. But it’s not a celebration of everlasting love, quite the opposite in fact. It’s based on a story of the love between a weave girl and a cowheard. The weaver was a celestial being, the cowherd a mortal. They fell madly in love and had two of their own children before being separated forever.

Birds took pity on the two lovers and every year on the 7th day of the 7th month they form a bridge to reunite the two. This is when the festival takes place; where people gather and gaze to the skies to look for Vega and Altair and a third star to form the symbolic bridge.

So, those are our five fun facts about Valentine’s Day. Do you have any to share?

Let us know!

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