Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valentine's Day, Part I

Valentine's Day (coming soon to a mall near you) is the second most celebrated day in the United States, after Christmas. The average American consumer will spend $119.67 this year for Valentine's Day, up from $100.89 from last year. Of that $119, spent, $80.29 will be spent on the significant other, while the rest will go to children, family members, friends, co-workers, etc.

My age group, 25-34, is expected to be the most generous this year, spending an average of $164.32. All I can say to that is, I am sorry. I'm just making cookies for my friends this year. And not $164 worth of cookies. I guess I am killing the Valentine spirit.

Other Valentine's Day facts:

  • February 15th was the date of the Roman festival of Lupercalia (the Wolf) where men held a lottery to select a woman to spend the year being fertile with.

  • During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds chose their mates on Valentine's Day.

  • Up through the early 20th century, in the Ozarks, people thought that birds and rabbits started mating on Valentine's Day. (So, there you have it. We celebrate Valentine's Day because of wolves, birds, and rabbits.)

  • It is traditional to eat unusual foods on St Valentine's Day to make yourself dream of your future spouse. (Don't be surprised if they are a bit nightmarish.)

  • But, in the 17th century, women were encouraged to eat a hard-boiled egg and to pin five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's Eve to encourage dreams of her future husband. (Egg=fertility; Bay leaves=purity, glory & strength...???)

  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women, and of that 27 percent, 15 percent of women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day. (I will say, I have been tempted to do this. I work in an office with 15 married women. Unless I happen to have lots of projects to do, Valentine's Day kinda sucks.)

  • Only 3 percent of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets. (I honestly can't believe it is that low. I would give a present to my pet if I had a pet.)

  • 68 percent of men say they'd prefer receiving chocolate over flowers as a gift on Valentine's Day and 50 percent of women will likely give a gift of chocolate to a man for Valentine's Day. (What about books? Doesn't anyone want books for Valentine's Day?)

  • In Wales, a traditional Valentine's gift would be a wooden spoon, carved with hearts and keys. (I really like that idea. It's simple, practical, traditional, and still romantic. I probably should find a way to get to know a man from Wales.)

Next up, Valentine's Day Memories

1 comment:

Edgy said...

Yay! I get cookies and a book for Valentine's Day this year!