Home Lifestyle & Travel Lifestyle Surprising things you didn't know about Valentine's Day

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

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and red and pink displays, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and multitude of roses have been popping up all over shops and malls.

Raylene de Wet, Director of Events at Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, shares some fun and interesting facts about Valentine’s Day that you might have missed.

  1. Valentine’s Day by the numbers

With an estimated $18.2 billion (R272 billion) being spent on Valentine’s Day in the United States and an estimated £1 billion pounds (R19 billion) being spent in the UK, Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year.

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In the US, an estimated 51% of Americans will participate in the rituals of Valentine’s Day and one in two adults in the UK. What’s more, six million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day.

  1. It’s not just for couples

Although romance seems to be the overarching theme for Valentine’s Day, this special day of love is increasingly celebrated among friends and co-workers and gifts are handed out to teachers, family and even pets. This year 27% of those celebrating say they are buying gifts for their pets. According to a recent survey in the US, 11.5% of people will buy themselves something special on the day, 15% of women will send themselves flowers and 9.8% will spend the evening out with friends to celebrate ‘Galentine Day’.

  1. Why flowers?

Flowers became the Valentine’s Day gift of choice as it used to symbolise fertility, love, marriage and romance. Flowers were also used to pass on non-verbal messages. Introduced in the 18th century by Charles II of Sweden, each flower had a specific meaning attached to it, making it possible to have an entire conversation using only flowers.

  1. The evolution of Valentine gifts

Flowers, chocolates, greeting cards and jewellery are the go-to presents for Valentine’s Day dating back to 1868 when Richard Cadbury introduced the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. In 2020, chocolates remain a popular gift with statistics showing that 52% of spending will go towards candy purchases.

Beaking away from tradition and giving and experience as a giftcould be the right move to impress your significant other this year. Based on National Retail Federation statistics, gifts of ‘experiences’ are preferred by a whopping 40% of people receiving gifts.

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